MANILA –The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Bonnie Kali, and Talaingod, Davao del Norte municipal treasurer Jose Pastor after they were found administratively liable for misconduct in office.
In two separate rulings, Kali was found guilty of simple neglect of duty and ordered suspended for one month and one day.
His suspension came after probers found that the respondent failed to disclose his other sources of income in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2004 to 2006; and 2009 to 2012.
As it turned out, Kali earned income from inherited farmlands and from a multi-million peso farming business covering 200 hectares planted with palm oil trees, rice, corn and coconuts.
In its ruling, the Ombudsman said “pursuant to Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, respondent ought to have disclosed his other sources of income in his SALN as it is required that all business interests and financial connections shall be disclosed.”
Meanwhile, Pastor was also found guilty of simple neglect of duty and ordered suspended without pay for three months.
The Commission on Audit (COA) found two checks of the municipality were encashed without the necessary supporting documents.
The checks both issued on March 7, 2008 and totaling PHP311,400 were encashed by an accounting clerk who remains at-large, thus, the money remains unaccounted for.
Pastor admitted he practiced the habit of pre-signing blank checks whenever he was on official business to attend seminars in Davao City.
The Ombudsman said “as municipal treasurer, Pastor has the responsibility to ensure that precautionary measures are in place to prevent un-issued checks of the municipality from falling to the hands of another, especially if he had pre-signed them.”
In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondent’s salary for three months.