The Ombudsman for Visayas upheld the dismissal of a complaint filed against Silay Mayor Jose “Oti” Montelibano and 13 others for the repainting of two buildings of the city’s public market.
The order, approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday by Silay City Administrator Ignacio Salmingo, denied the motions for reconsideration filed by Silay residents Jose Lindy Chan and Jojo Sumiller to its resolution dated Aug. 28, 2009, dismissing their criminal complaint for lack of probable cause.
In filing the motion for reconsideration, Chan and Sumiller said that Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Mark Jalandoni, has no authority to sign the assailed the resolution in behalf of the Ombudsman, then Merceditas Gutierrez, because he could not approve recommendations from a co-equal rank, much less from senior, Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Pelagio Apostol
However, the Ombudsman clarified that Jalandoni’s authority to sign in behalf of Gutierrez was pursuant to a memorandum dated June 11, 2010, which enjoys the presumption of regularity.
As to the call of the complainants for Jalandoni to inhibit because of the existing business transaction of his father, Boy Jalandoni, with the Silay City government, the Ombudsman emphasized that it is a personal matter and they cannot act on it.
The charges against Montelibano and other respondents stemmed from the repainting of the public markets, which the complainant claimed was not done by the Coca-Cola bottlers Philippines Incorporated but subcontracted by a certain Mr. Clavecillas of Talisay City, and that the repainting turned out to be cheap and substandard.
They alleged that contrary to the findings of the Ombudsman, the respondents were grossly negligent in allowing such repainting when Montelibano approved based only on the letters of CCBPI, in where one of the messengers is his relative. They added that the repainting was without a contract, and deed of donation, and did not pass the normal government procedures, such as competitive bidding.
The other respondents in the case also cleared by the Ombudsman were Vice Mayor Mark Golez, Jose Raymundo Locsin, Michael Maravilla, Mario Torres, Ramon Jison, Warlito Go and Rosalinda Caja, who were councilors at the time the complaint was filed.
Also exonerated were SK Representative April Grace Delos Reyes, Market Supervisor Giovani Guzon, General Service Office Pepito Hechanova, City Engineer’s Office Sonia Cordero, State Auditor Benedicta Pagunsan and CCBPI Sales Manager Agustin Gatuslao.*APN