Incumbent Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale found themselves in hot water, after Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, 3rd District) on midweek slapped them with criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Garcia is accusing Davide III and five others of violating the government service provisions, for promoting two capitol officials to top positions, even though the earlier dismissal orders of their supposed predecessors had not been finalized.
Aside from Davide and Magpale, the lady lawmaker is also suing provincial officials Mark Tolentino, Bonifer Nacorda, Rene Catan and Danilo Rodas for violation of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the service.
In her complaint, Garcia claimed that the accused conspired to effect the illegal appointments of Rodas and Catan, as provincial budget and health officers, respectively.
Garcia who is vying for the capitol post in May 2019 with Magpale as opponent, also specifically asked for the inhibition of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas and its investigators from handling the case.
In her 13-page complaint, Garcia said that back in 2012, she and members of the provincial bids and awards committee, were charged for anomalous deals relative to the the construction of the controversial Cebu International Convention Center.
On 11 November 2015, the anti-graft office ordered the dismissal of Garcia and members of the BAC, after which Davide immediately implemented the Ombudsman’s order.
He instructed then provincial health officer Cristina Giango and former provincial budget officer Emme Gingoyon, to vacate their offices even as the two filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals (CA).
Following their appeal before the CA, the two dismissed officials represented by lawyer Marino Martinquilla requested Tolentino in his capacity as provincial administrator, to not declare as vacant their positions pending resolution of their appeal.
But despite the pending appeal, Davide and the other accused proceeded to declare the positions vacant.
In May 2016, Rodas was appointed provincial budget officer and in August 2017, Catan was named as provincial health officer 2, both on permanent basis.
The appointments of Catan and Rodas were subsequently approved and ratified by the provincial board, which is presided by Magpale being the vice governor.
In July 2017, the CA found the former BAC guilty of simple misconduct, instead of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty, and were suspended for three months without pay.
Due to the decision, Giango, Gingoyon and members of the BAC were ordered reinstated.
Following Giango’s reinstatement, Davide recalled Catan’s position as officer-in-charge of PHO in February 2018 and Giango be transferred and reassigned to the medical clinic unit of the PHO.