SABANGAN, Mountain Province – The Office of the Ombudsman affirmed the dismissal from service of a punong barangay for gross neglect of duty after it denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the aggrieved party for alleged lack of merit.
In an order issued by the Ombudsman dated July 4, 2018, the Ombudsman found no merit to the arguments raised by Napua Punong Barangay Willie B. Bacoong in seeking reconsideration of its earlier decision to dismiss him for gross neglect of duty and recall the endorsements to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to serve the notice of dismissal against him.
Previously, the Ombudsman found Bacoong guilty of gross neglect of duty when he failed to file his sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2010 to 2016 in violation of existing government law, rules and regulations.
The Ombudsman did not buy the arguments raised by Bacoong that he submitted and filed his SALNs with the Liga ng mga Barangay Sabangan chapter and that copies of the said documents could be accessed from the said office which the investigating body described as not the proper office to file such important documents.
The Ombudsman ruled that in the event that dismissal from the service cannot be enforced due to Bacoong’s separation from the service, the penalty will be converted into a fine equivalent to his salaries for one year payable to the said office and may be deductible from his retirements benefits, accrued leave credits or any receivable from his office.
Bacoong attempted to question the decision when he filed his motion for reconsideration on the case but the same was outrightly denied by the investigating body for lack of merit.
The complaint against Bacoong was filed by Richard Budod and other companions regarding the former’s failure to file his SALNs from 2010 to 2016 based on a certification obtained from the records officer of the Ombudsman that showed that he never filed his SALNs for seven years.
The order was subsequently transmitted to the DILG Secretary who shall implement the dismissal order against the embattled punong barangay pursuant to existing law, rules and regulations.
In denying Bacoong’s motion for reconsideration, the Ombudsman claimed that Bacoong’s arguments are not well taken as there is no showing that the facts of the cases involved in the joint resolutions fall squarely in his case and that the filing of the SALNs before the Liga ng mga Barangay can indeed be considered as substantial compliance with the law if there is an actual proof of such filing.
In Bacoong’s case, it was noted that there is no showing that his SALNs were all received by the office of the Liga ng mga Barangay Sabangan chapter and that his SALNs for 2011 to 2014 were not only undated but unsigned as well.