Zamboanga del Norte Mayor reprimanded for ignoring letter
26 July 2017
Jan Hendrik Vallecer, the Mayor of President Manuel A. Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte, was reprimanded by the Office of the Ombudsman for failing to reply to the letter of a certain Rumar Legara, a Sangguniang Bayan member whose term ended on 30 June 2016.
According to the complaint, on 21 July 2016, Legara submitted the claim voucher for his terminal leave benefits to the respondent’s office for approval. He made a follow-up on 27 July 2016 and was told that his papers were referred back to the Office of the Municipal Accountant. Due to lack of advice as to the status of his request, Legara wrote Vallecer on 02 August 2016 to request the release of his terminal leave benefits; however, the letter was ignored.
In his counter-affidavit, Vallecer stated that the request for terminal leave benefits remained pending due to Legara’s unsettled accountability with the municipality.
However, in the Decision, the Ombudsman stated that, “the respondent kept the complainant in the dark by failing to apprise him about the status of his claim. While respondent may have a valid reason for disapproving complainant’s claim, he should have let complainant know about it by replying to his letter.”
Section 5 of Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) mandates all public officials and employees to respond to letters, telegrams or other means of communications sent by the public; and that the reply must contain the action taken on the request. ###