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Ombudsman finds ex-mayor guilty of misconduct

December 17 - 23, 2016

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the three-month suspension without pay of former mayor Napoleon Cuaton of Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte after he was found guilty by the Ombudsman of simple misconduct.

The Office of the Ombudsman said Cuaton, in July 2013, deliberately failed to reinstate Administrative Aide I Gerry Mencide as directed by the Civil Service Commission, which ruled that he was illegally terminated without just cause. The anti-graft office also noted that the mayor appointed another individual to occupy Mencide’s position.

“It is clear that respondent Cuaton intentionally disregarded CSC’s order of reinstatement. Instead of implementing the Decision, he issued two unnumbered Office Orders removing complainant from his position,” the Ombudsman decision read.

In an interview with former mayor Cuaton, he admitted that he terminated Mencide but sent immediately a notice, not later than one month, requesting the worker to return to work.

On July 2013, Cuaton reportedly terminated the utility worker without due process, due to his resentment on the alleged act of Mencide of disregarding the backhoe, which costs 800,000 pesos to repair during that time.

“I admit my mistake, but I am just also protecting the interest of the public funds,” Cuaton said.

Under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, the administrative offense of simple misconduct is a less grave offense punishable by suspension of one month and one day to six months for the first offense.

The former mayor also disclosed that he already filed a motion for reconsideration on the Ombudsman’s decision and is now awaiting the Ombudsman’s decision on this.(By MARK L. RIMAS)






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