Abra mayor dismissed for grave misconduct
Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2019 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — For approving the award of a printing service contract with companies owned by their family, the Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of the mayor of Bangued town in Abra.

In an 18-page decision dated June 24 and released yesterday, the anti-graft agency said Dominic Valera and his wife Mila, the incumbent vice mayor, and three other municipal government officials were found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Valera was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office. The vice mayor was suspended for one year.

The ombudsman said acting municipal accountant Henry Bodaño, acting treasurer Romie Turqueza  and budget officer Amelia Bersamira were also dismissed for opting to “remain silent” when they could have stopped the illegal transaction.

The complaint stemmed from the contract entered by the municipal government with Abra Petron Service Center and DMJS Printing Shop worth around P1.9 million.

Graft probers said Valera is the owner of Abra Petron, which was managed by his wife. DMJS is owned by their daughter Ma. Sylvia and her husband Jay. 

The ombusdman said the Valera couple ”actively participated” in facilitating the transactions with the municipal government and received the payments. 

Valera’s acts “tainted the image and integrity of his office and... showed his abuse of authority,” the ruling read.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government and Finance to implement the ruling. – With Michael Punongbayan

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