CA affirms guilty verdict vs. ex-airport manager

Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - January 2, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines -  The Court of Appeals has upheld the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas on its guilty verdict against former Mactan Cebu International Airport general manager Adelberto Yap.

The 18th division of the appellate court also sustained the penalty meted against Yap which is a fine equivalent to his six months salary for less serious dishonesty.

Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla said there was no sufficient evidence to reverse the Ombudsman ruling that found Yap guilty of the offense charged.

"There is ample evidence on record that petitioner Yap filed a motion for reconsideration with the Civil Service Commission (CSC). However, when the said office did not provide respondent Rogelio Yaun with a copy of petitioner's motion for reconsideration, petitioner took advantage of the situation and misled this court by denying that he filed such motion," Padilla ruled.

According to Padilla, Yap's attempt to mislead the court "validated his propensity to be dishonest."

"Confirming all the more the propriety of the Ombudsman rulings," she added.

Yap was appointed as temporary general manager of the MCIA by the MCIAA Board of Directors on Feb. 22, 2005. However, on April 13, 2005, his appointment was disapproved by the CSC due to his lack of required civil service eligibility and failed to show that his application passed through the Personnel Selection Board.

Yap filed a motion for reconsideration with the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) but was also turned down by the CSC. On Aug. 23, 2005, Yap wrote to Commissioner Waldemar Valmores of the CSC informing that he already took a management aptitude test administered by the CSC. He also submitted to the chairperson of the CSC a certification from the manager of the MCIAA Administrative Department that no MCIAA personnel hold the rank of CESO III or the position of general manager.

There was also a copy of a document "purporting to be Republic Act 6958" sent through fax to the office of Valmores. The said document had a certification signed by Yap as a certified copy from the DOTC Records Division.

The CSC then approved the temporary appointment of Yap on the premise that "he, among all other applicants, was the only one who had the nomination of the president of the Philippines to the position of general manager of MCIAA."

The CSC mentioned Section 7(b) of RA 6958, which provides that the board shall have the power to appoint the general manager of the authority upon nomination by the president of the Philippines.

But the complainant, Crisologo Saavedra, said Yap falsified the document by inserting in Section 7(b) the phrase "upon nomination by the president of the Philippines" in the copy of RA 6958 that was faxed to the CSC, which phrase is not found in the original copy of the said law.

Yap argued that he cannot be held liable for dishonesty because what was involved was a fax copy of RA 6958 and not the original document. He said there was no evidence presented to prove that he altered the copy of the said law and sent it through fax to the CSC.

But Padilla said the faxed copy bore Yap's signature supposedly certifying that the copy was the same copy that came from the DOTC records division. She said this is already enough evidence against him. (FREEMAN)

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