By NITZ ARANCON
THE Office of the Ombudsman has approved nine more criminal cases against Mayor Oscar Moreno and former members of the capitol’s Bids and Awards Committee before the Sandiganbayan in connection the provincial government’s lease of heavy equipment when the local chief executive was governor.
The ombudsman also slapped Moreno and the other respondents with dismissal orders for grave misconduct in line with five more administrative cases.
The mayor’s lawyer, Dale Bryan Mordeno, yesterday confirmed that he received the 14 ombudsman resolutions on the cases on Friday.
The cases, filed by Antonio Nuñez, pertain to the capitol’s lease of heavy equipment without public biddings from 2007 to 2012 when Misamis Oriental’s governor was Moreno.
Like the previous cases filed by the ombudsman, the other respondents are former provincial acting accountant Divina Bade, former acting provincial budget officer Elmer Wabe, former provincial administrator Patrick Gabutina, former assistant provincial engineer Rolando Pacuribot, former provincial general services officer Elsie Lopoy, former provincial legal officer Cancio Guibone, and former provincial administrative aide Leemar Tinagan.
Mordeno said the mayor has so far received a total of 26 resolutions on administrative and criminal cases that took shape as a result of Nuñez’s complaint, and they were anticipating 22 more “kay 48 man ni ka kaso tanan.”
He quickly filed a consolidated motion for reconsideration with the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday, asserting that his clients should not have been slapped with dismissal orders and charged before the anti-graft court.
Mordeno cited the following points in his latest consolidated motion for reconsideration:
- A Feb. 3, 2017 certification by the secretariat of the Commission on Audit that negates the finality of the notice of disallowance of special audit.
- There is no factual basis for the finding that the respondents made it appear that GEO Transports and Construction Inc., and Monark Equipment Corp. participated in the bidding for the rental of a tanker.
- The preconditions and factual precedents which warrant the resort to shopping were present.
- The decision of the regional director of the audit commission in the matter of the appeal made by the respondents pertaining to the payment of heavy equipment rental from 2017 to 2012 for the notices of disallowance, obviates against the administratively liability of the respondents.
- Respondents were alleged to have conspired on the commission of the instant charges simply on the bases of the function of their respected offices and nothing more.
- There is no substantial evidence adduced in the complaint, whether testimonial or documentary, to hold respondents liable for the administrative charges.
In addition, Mordeno said, the mayor has also invoked the “condonation doctrine” of the Supreme Court that provides that reelection removes the administrative liability of elected officials.
“Kini nga rental sa heavy equipment niadto mang 2017 to 2012. Apan kay si Mayor Moreno na-reelect man pagka governor niadtong 2010, bo-ot pasabot nga mo-apply kaniya ang ‘condonation doctrine’ sa Supreme Court, ug mahulog nga mawala na kadtong iyang mga administrative cases kay na-reelect man siya pagka governor,” Mordeno said.