Former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was found guilty of administrative offenses of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. File photo

Mabilog dismissed anew
Elizabeth Marcelo (philstar.com) - January 3, 2018 - 4:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has issued another dismissal order against former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, this time, over an alleged anomalous towing services deal entered in 2015 with a firm he allegedly owned.

In a decision recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Mabilog was found guilty of administrative offenses of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Aside from his dismissal, the ombudsman has also ordered Mabilog's perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and cancelation of his civil service eligibility.

It can be remembered that the ombudsman, in October last year, ordered Mabilog's dismissal from service for serious dishonesty in connection with his alleged questionable wealth amounting P8.9 million. The ombudsman said Mabillog failed to properly account his sources of wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth in 2012 and 2013.

The first dismissal order was implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government on October 30. Mabilog was replaced by then Iloilo City vice mayor Jose Espinosa III.

In November, the Court of Appeals junked Mabilog's petition seeking to nullify the ombudsman's first dismissal order.

The ombudsman's Public Information and Media Relations Bureau clarified that since Mabilog was no longer in service, the new dismissal order is convertible to a fine equivalent to his salary for one year as city mayor.

The second dismissal order stemmed from a memorandum of agreement entered by the city government in April 2015 with 3L Towing Services for the clamping of the vehicles to be towed.

The MOA was in connection with the Sangguniang Panglungsod or city council's approval in April 2014 of an ordinance requiring the use of a wheel towing clamp as part of its towing operation.

Under the MOA, 70 percent of the fines collected would be given to the towing company while the remaining 30 percent would be the city government's share.

The ombudsman noted that complainant then city councilor Plaridel Nava II had earlier alleged that it was Mabilog who truly owned 3L, and the company's named proprietress Leny Garcia was just serving as its dummy owner.

“It is undisputed that respondent entered into a MOA, on behalf of the city government with 3L for the implementation of the city’s clamping ordinance without compliance with any procurement process required under the relevant law for the selection of 3L,” the ombudsman's decision read.

Nava said that in June 16, 2014 Mabilog even handed him P500,000 in cash as part of his capital contribution to the business. Nava said Mabilog also expedited the release of the business and mayor’s permits of the towing company.

In his counter-charge, Mabilog claimed that “it is Nava who has pecuniary interest in 3L because it was the latter who told him about it and its intention of bidding for the towing project even defending the qualifications of 3L."

In its decision, the ombudsman directed the Field Investigation Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas to conduct a fact-finding investigation against Nava for a possible administrative case “as he openly admitted against his own interest, that he was the one who approached Garcia to serve as respondent’s dummy, upon [Mabilog's] earlier instruction, to look for someone they could trust.”

The ombudsman had earlier issued a separate decision ordering the filing of graft charges against Mabilog and Nava before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged anomalous towing deal. The graft cases, however, have yet to reach the Sandiganbayan.

Mabilog became controversial after President Rodrigo Duterte linked him to the illegal drugs trade.

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