THE Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict a director at the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) for violation of the anti-graft law.
The ruling was handed down against Charlita Escaño who holds the position of Director IV at the the Office of Finance and Administrative Services of Minda in Davao City for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019.
Investigation showed that Escaño allowed her husband, Engineer Allan Escaño, a non-Minda employee, to participate in the “Basic Occupational Safety and Health Course for Construction Officers” held at the Ritz Hotel in Davao City from March 16-20, 2015.
Records revealed that the Minda paid the amount of P30,000 representing the registration fee for five participants, but only four employees attended with Engr. Allan Escaño, a private individual, replacing Engr. Renato Buhat Jr. who was unavailable to attend the seminar.
In her counter-affidavit, respondent claimed that she was informed that refund was not allowed for any cancelled attendance, and as replacement for Engr. Buhat, she invited her husband to attend the seminar and the organizers allowed it.
In the Ombudsman resolution, it was determined that “respondent gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to her husband, Engr. Escaño, by causing his inclusion in the training in lieu of Engr. Buhat for which Minda already paid the registration fee.”
Under Section 3(e) of RA 3019, it shall be unlawful to, among others, give any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of official administrative functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. (source: office of the ombudsman website)