Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ombudsman orders 6-mth prevention suspension ...

Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez Friday ordered the six-month preventive suspension of 11 ranking officers of the Philippine Navy (PN) for alleged anomalous disbursement of public funds and in the procurement of medical supplies.

In a 10-page Order, Ombudsman Gutierrez approved the recommendation to place under a six-month preventive suspension without pay R/Adm. Constantino Jardiniano, Commander; Lcdr. Manuel Gimena, Commanding Officer, Headquarters Support Command; Mrs. Victoria Buhia; LTjg. Daniel Labrador, Procurement Officer; Ensign Annaleen Magdaraog; Rosemarie Siguinia Supply Accountable Officer; Skc. Edmundo Baluca, MPO Inspector; Lt. Joel Tamayo, Chief, Pre-Audit; Ssgt. G.M. Labaguis, Supply PO; all of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), Naval Station San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales. NETC is an attached Command of the PN.

The case stemmed from a letter sent to the Office of the Ombudsman of the concerned officers and men of NETC Zambales denouncing the alleged irregular and anomalous conduct of Jardiniano.

In the investigation conducted by the OMB-Military and Law Enforcement Offices (OMB-MOLEO), it alleged "that respondents conspired and confederated in making the above-mentioned transactions and liquidations."

It cited discrepancies in the liquidation of cash advance in the years 2005 and 2006. It found out that during the calendar year 2005, Gimena received a total of P4.3 million in cash advances.

The liquidation submitted by the NETC before the Commission on Audit (COA) as of December 2005 reflected the same amount.

But in her Statement of Liquidation and Balance, respondent Buhia reported that the amount liquidated for the same year was only P4.8 million or a discrepancy of P478,837.

It also discovered that the documents submitted in support of the liquidation were spurious.

For the calendar year 2006, "the COA and NETC had reported the same amount of cash advance but there was still an unliquidated amount of P512,587.20".

It was also discovered by the OMB-Moleo investigation panel that the liquidations of cash advances were supported by spurious Official Receipts, Cash/Sales Invoices and there were no attached supporting documents.

The OMB panel also stated that the proceeds of the checks once encashed were received by either respondent Jardiniano or Magdaraog.

The panel also found out that "the medicines purchased by NETC from Calman Trading, Farmacia Callo, R.T. Franco Pharmacy and F.R. Estrada Pharmacy were not delivered to the recipient, Naval Station San Miguel (NSSM) Hospital."

It further alleged that NETC also made a purchase from Farmacia Pascasio for delivery to NSSM Dental Dispensary but the same was not delivered to the dispensary.

It stated in their complaint that the "respondents conspired with one another..... to make it appear that the medicines were delivered when in truth and in fact they were not."

In her Order, Ombudsman Gutierrez stated that the conditions required to merit the preventive suspension of respondent have been met.

She thus ordered the preventive suspension of the said officials and directed Armed Forces of the Phils. Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to immediately implement the same. (PNA)

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