Ombudsman suspends Mindanao State U execs
27 April 2017
For failing to promptly act on a faculty member’s request for an update on his GSIS contributions, the Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension for three months of two high ranking officials from the Mindanao State University (Main Campus). University President Macapado Muslim and Chief Accountant Papala Masorong were found guilty of Simple Neglect of Duty and violation of Section 5(a) and (d) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713).
Records of the investigation showed that complainant Ranao Datu-Dacula was a faculty member who retired from the service in May 2015, after serving the school since 1992. Sometime in 2014, he found out that his GSIS contributions started only in March 2003. Following this, he wrote letters to the university’s administrators requesting for an update, reconciliation and payment of unremitted contributions from 1992 to 2003. Four other follow-up letters were made in December 2014 to February 2015, all to no avail.
According to the Ombudsman, “it is established that there was undue delay in the response and action made on the request of complainant. Respondents do not dispute the fact that starting December 2014, complainant had been sending various letters to them regarding his unremitted GSIS contributions. However, it was only on 12 October 2015 that MSU administration, through its Legal Service Office, took action.”
The Decision explained that “the length of time of almost eight months from the first letter of respondent and when an action was finally made, is unjustified. It is absurd that the simple referral to the GSIS by the MSU took eight months to happen.”
According to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, “clearly, respondents were neglectful of their duties when they did not promptly act upon the concern of complainant. In the same vein, by their patent failure to respond to the letters of complainant within 15 days from receipt and to act promptly and expeditiously, respondents violated Section 5(a) and (d) of R.A. No. 6713.”
Simple Neglect of Duty means the failure of an official to give proper attention to a task expected, signifying a disregard of a duty resulting from careless or indifference. Meantime, under R.A. No. 6713, all public officials and employees shall, within fifteen working days from receipt thereof, respond to letters, telegrams or other means of communications sent by the public which must contain the action taken on the request. In addition, the law requires all public officials and employees to attend to anyone who wants to avail himself of the services of their offices and must, at all times, act promptly and expeditiously.
In case of separation from the service, the penalty shall be converted into a fine equivalent to respondent’s salary for three months. The Ombudsman directed the Commission on Higher Education to implement the suspension order. ###