DARAB adjudicator in trouble for freebies
19 January 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of criminal charges against Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Romeo Covarrubias of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Davao Oriental, for two counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In a six-page Resolution, the Ombudsman stated that Covarubias caused undue injury to the government when he brought along a certain Lynnete Abarro during official functions with hotel accommodations paid for by DAR.
According to the Ombudsman, respondent must be liable for each time that he let Abarro be accommodated overnight at the expense of the government. “Not being an employee of the DAR, Abarro was accorded unwarranted benefit when she was accommodated in rooms which were supposed to be for DAR employees,” the Resolution stated.
In the related administrative case, the Ombudsman earlier ordered Covarrubias’ suspension for one year after he was found guilty of Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct, and frequent unauthorized absences. Investigation found that Covarrubias, married, cohabited with Abarro, also married, whom he introduced as his spouse. It was also found that from May to December 2013, Covarrubias incurred unauthorized absences.
Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to any party or the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence ###