Ombudsman suspends Dalaguete mayor for negligence
04 December 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension for three months of Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante of Dalaguete, Cebu. Respondent and seven others were found guilty of Simple Misconduct and Neglect of Duty for directly being responsible for the sinking of the fishing boat owned by Rusell and Jowleyn Heredia.
Also ordered suspended were Municipal Administrator Rydal Cisneros, Chief of Police Clito Pia, Division Head Almar Villahermosa, Agricultural Technician Juana Tangpos, Peter Bejarasco, Municipal Deputy Fish Wardens Felipe Calisang and Juan Millan.
Records show that the fishing boat was in the custody of respondents after it was seized for violation of the Fisheries Code. On 26 November 2014 during the onslaught of Typhoon Queen, the boat sank despite complainants’ persistent pleas and requests to relocate the boat to a safer location.
According to the Ombudsman, “the record establishes respondents’ failure to preserve the vessel seized. Despite repeated requests to transfer the vessel to a safer location amidst the coming typhoon, the respondents have the complainants the run-around to avoid the responsibility of giving the clearance to move the vessel. Their failure to act on said requests constitutes negligence. In the present situation, respondents fell short of the reasonable diligence required of them, for failing to exercise due care and prudence in addressing the complainants’ reasonable request to transfer the vessel.”
The Department of the Interior and Local Government was directed to implement the order. ###