THE Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the dismissal of three former officials of Buguias town in Benguet Province.
Anecita Suyat, Asano Aban, and Marcelino Endi were dismissed over a P1 million disbursement to a contractor providing fungicides and insecticides back in 2004.
The three assailed the dismissal before the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman’s ruling that the three were guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
In the Ombudsman’s decision, the three petitioners were found to have facilitated the anomalous transaction without proper resort to alternative methods of procurement as provided in the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).
“The lack of the required documentation of the procurement process, the likely intentional omission of dates on the bare documentation available, the blatant reference to brand names of pesticides, the uncannily exact match between the estimated unit costs in the purchase request and the offered quotations of the winning supplier, the overall absence of any prior written approval of the municipal mayor, and other gross anomalies on record had all collectively constituted a stain on the reputation of Philippine public service,” the SC said in its statement.
The SC also added that despite the three being acquitted of related criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan, “administrative cases are independent from criminal proceedings, and the dismissal of the latter on grounds of insufficiency of evidence will not preclude the determination of the former.”
The SC said that there was enough evidence to uphold the dismissal of the three, regardless of their acquittal in criminal court, as the evidence was conclusive and the Ombudsman had not shown any indication of grave abuse of discretion in the proceedings leading to the dismissal.