SABANGAN, Mountain Province – A municipal councilor and the outgoing president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) was ordered suspended for three months without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman after finding him administratively liable for simple neglect of duty for his alleged failure to file his mandated Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN) for several years in the past.
In a 5-page decision penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Maria Viviane Cacho-Calicdan, the grave misconduct charges filed against Councilor and ABC president Roger L. Dangsi by complainants Melchor S. Bao-idang, Jr. and Richard T. Budod was downgraded to simple neglect of duty and will be suspended for three months without pay pursuant to Section 10, Rule III, Administrative Order No. 07 as amended by Administrative Order No. 17, in relation to Section 25 of Republic Act (RA) 6770.
The decision added that in case the penalty of suspension can no longer be enforced due to Dangsi’s separation from the service, the penalty shall be converted into a fine equivalent to his salary for three months payable to the Office of the Ombudsman, and may be deducted from his retirement benefits, accrued leave credits or any receivables from his office.
The Ombudsman directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the decision immediately upon receipt pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
On June 23, 2017, the complainants filed a case of grave misconduct against Dangsi after he allegedly failed to file his SALN for the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013 as certified by the records officer of the Ombudsman in a certification issued on March 23, 2016.
However, Dangsi denied the allegations against him averring that he filed his SALN for the years 2005 to 2009 and 2013 as attached and certified to by the Secretary of the Liga ng mga Barangay, Cedrick Rommel V. Likigan.
The decision stipulated that there is substantial evidence to hold Dangsi administratively liable not for grave misconduct as charged but for simple neglect of duty for his alleged failure to give attention to his duty as a public officer to accomplish and submit his 2005 to 2009 and 2013 SALNs within the period prescribed by law and with the proper office or officer.
Records show that copies of Dangsi’s 2005 to 2009 and 2013 SALNs, which he claimed were filed before the Liga ng mga Barangay office, Sabangan chapter, have no proof of receipt showing that they were indeed filed within the timeframe required by law that is within 30 days upon his assumption of office on or before April 30 of every year thereafter.
The decision noted that Dangsi’s 2005 and 2006 SALNs were not subscribed under oath; while his 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013 SALNs were subscribed under oath, no dates were indicated when such administration of oath occurred, thus, it cannot be determined when such documents were actually subscribed.
Moreover, the office of the Liga ng mga Barangay is not the proper office where such SALNs should be submitted.
The charge for grave misconduct against Dangsi was dismissed because it was not shown that his non-filing of the SALNs was attended with acts of corruption, wilful intent to violate the law or disregard of established rules. By HENT