Ex-Western Samar Mayor in trouble for cemetery project
18 July 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has found former Hinabangan, Western Samar Mayor Alejandro Abarratigue, Municipal Treasurer Raul Tapia and Administrative Officer II Analiza Bagro guilty of Grave Misconduct. They were ordered dismissed from the service and were meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, bar from taking civil service examinations and forfeiture of retirement benefits. In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to their salary for one year.
In addition, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of charges for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) against the respondents.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the Field Investigation Office of the Ombudsman Tacloban Regional Office regarding the irregular purchase of a parcel of property intended for the expansion of the municipal cemetery. Abarratigue, et. al. facilitated and approved the payment of P500,000.00 for the lot in 2008.
Investigation found that the purchase was not authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan. In its Resolution, the Ombudsman stated that the “purchase of lot by respondents was anomalous. It was done without the imprimatur of the SB of Hinabangan, Samar. The local chief executive is precluded from entering into contract in behalf of the local government unit without securing prior authorization.”
Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference by a public officer and employee are declared to be unlawful. ###