MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of one count of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and four counts of unlawful appointment for violation of Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) against Panglao, Bohol Mayor Leonila Montero.
The Ombudsman also found Montero guilty of simple misconduct and ordered her suspended from office for three months.
The Ombudsman found that in July 2013, Montero appointed four losing candidates in the 2013 elections as consultants, earning PHP25,000 per month.
Records showed that Montero hired Noel Homarchuelos as municipal administrator/consultant for administrative services, Danilo Reyes as public information consultant, Apolinar Fudalan as Public Employment Service Office Coordinator/IT consultant, and Fernando Penales as infrastructure/engineering consultant.
The consultants were hired on a job order basis to serve the mayor without executing any contract of service or issuance of any appointment paper duly reviewed and approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.
Upon probe, the Ombudsman found that the contracts and daily time records of the four consultants were not available.
In its Annual Audit Report for 2013, the Commission on Audit (COA) determined that “the payment of their services was effected even without their duly approved accomplishment reports and individual contracts, in violation of Section 4(6) of the Government Auditing Code.”
In its ruling, the Ombudsman said, “The Local Government Code provisions prohibit and disqualify Homarchuelos, Reyes, Fudalan, and Penales within one year after such election to be appointed to any public office in the government.”
“Respondent in appointing them to vital positions in the municipality certainly granted them unwarranted benefits and caused due injury to the government equivalent to the amount of the compensation they received during the time of their temporary disqualification,” Morales said.