By: Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – The Ombudsman–Visayas dismissed the administrative complaint filed by Moises Padilla vice mayor Cipriano Remo against eight Sangguniang Bayan members after finding no substantial evidence to hold them liable of the charge of grave misconduct and dereliction of duty.
The decision penned by graft investigator Irish Inabangan Amores and approved by Pelagio Apostol, deputy ombudsman for Visayas, was dated February 15, 2012 but released only recently.
Cleared were Councilors Marvin Tan and Noli Ogatis, former SB members Dolly Yasa, Loreli Aurelio Jose Roy Nalagon, Jesus Damaso Garcia and Alphine Nikko Alonso.
Aurelio passed away last week due a lingering illness caused by an accident while she was performing her duties as then a member of the town council between 2004-2007.
The Ombudsman said that “we cannot reasonably and validly deduce grave misconduct or dereliction of duty on the part of the respondents.”
Remo, in his complaint, claimed that the respondents have been conspicuous in their absences in the sessions of the SB from March to June 2010, thus no quorum was attained.
Remo also stated that because of the unwarranted behavior of the respondents on March 17, 2012, the SB opted to exercise its power under the Local Government Code of 1991 to order the arrest of its absentee members to compel their appearance in the session.
Remo averred that respondents’ absences in the SB sessions run counter to what is mandated by the LGC and could be a ground of disciplinary action.
In its findings, the Ombudsman stated that “perusal of the records revealed that Remo as the complainant failed to substantiate his case.
It stated that “as can be gleaned from the proof of notice to respondents as to the called special sessions for the month of March 2010, the notices were not given to the respondents themselves but to the latter’s relatives or family members.”
The decision said that “there was no substantial proof that respondents had indeed committed four consecutive absences from the regular sessions of the SB which might warrant administrative liability.”