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Cebu News

Ombud clears 2 NCMB employees of admin raps

- Mylen P. Manto -

CEBU, Philippines - The anti-graft office cleared two employees of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) Regional Office-7, Cebu City earlier charged with an administrative case for allegedly receiving gifts from one of the parties in a labor case.

Graft investigator Irish Inabangan Amores found no sufficient evidence to indict Director II Edmundo Mirasol and Mediator Arturo Kierulf for misconduct.

“Evidence must be competent and derived from direct knowledge. In contrast, mere suspicion or speculation cannot be the basis for imposing disciplinary action complainants’ allegations are insufficient to establish substantial evidence,” decision reads.

The complainant of the case were Irvin Blanza, Ramir Obenita, Jose Mari Miñoza, Balmar Luib, Othello Caharian, Emmanuel Bacus and Lamberto Chua who are all former employees of Energizer Philippines, Inc. (EPI) located in Mandaue City.

Complainants alleged that on December 1, 2009 Miñoza went to NCMB of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in GK Chua Building in Sanciangko Street, Cebu City to ask for a copy of the guidelines on becoming a labor management council awardee.

While he was inside the office, Miñoza claimed he saw two boxes wrapped with EPI placed behind respondent Kierulf.

Complainants claimed a conciliation meeting was conducted on November 12, 2009 between them and the president of Mandaue Eveready Battery Labor Union Leon Cordero to clarify why the latter cannot defend them as members of the union.

They added some of them (complainants) went to NCMB on December 12, 2009 wherein they allegedly saw again two boxes wrapped with EPI placed behind respondent Kierulf.

Complainants said they took videos and photos of the said boxes as evidence.

“The act of accepting gifts knowing that there is an ongoing case between them and the EPI is against public policy and highly immoral and constitute conduct unbecoming of a public official,” complainants said.

However, in the counter-affidavit of the respondents they admitted the presence of the subject two boxes but deny those boxes were gifts to NCMB or any of its personnel.

They said the NCMB gave full support to the activities of the Philippine League of Labor-Management Cooperation Practitioners (PHILAMCOP), a private national organization of labor and management advocates promoting sound relations between two social partners.

“Towards this end, Rene delos Reyes, PHILAMCOP National President wrote several companies soliciting for help. One of those companies was the EPI which allegedly responded favorably. EPI and other companies’ products were allegedly distributed to convention delegates,” respondents explained.

Because they were assigned as logistics, respondents claimed that all the equipments and props used in the said event were placed in their office including EPI’s leftover boxes.

Graft investigator Amores then ruled the evidence submitted by the complainants was not enough to charge respondents of misconduct.

“It is well to emphasize that it is the duty of the complainants to support and substantiate their claim. They cannot rely on mere suspicion and unfounded charges,” Amores said. — (FREEMAN)

BALMAR LUIB

CEBU CITY

CHUA BUILDING

COMPLAINANTS

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

EDMUNDO MIRASOL AND MEDIATOR ARTURO KIERULF

EMMANUEL BACUS AND LAMBERTO CHUA

ENERGIZER PHILIPPINES

EPI

IRISH INABANGAN AMORES

IRVIN BLANZA

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