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Cebu News

Ombuds junks criminal, admin raps vs 2 Tuburan barangay officials

Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines- The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas dismissed both criminal and administrative complaints against a barangay captain and a barangay secretary in Tuburan town.

Apalan Barangay Captain Orlando Almacin and his secretary Nimfa Laurente were cleared of falsification of public document and dishonesty for lack of sufficient evidence.

Graft investigation and prosecution officer Irish Inabangan Amores found the evidence holding the respondents guilty.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Ponciano Estalante and Neciforo Besiao questioning an abrupt increase in the barangay clearance fees.

“Notably, the steps conducted in coming up with that increase in barangay taxes may have been flawed, yet that doesn’t amount to falsification or dishonesty on the part of respondents. As it appears not only barangay captain should be faulted but the Sangguniang Barangay as well for apparent ignorance of the procedures in passing a barangay ordinance, more so a tax ordinance,” the resolution read.

The respondents implemented Barangay Resolution No. 01, series of 2011, increasing the fee for the issuance of barangay clearance, subpoena or certification, business clearance and cutting trees. The said resolution was allegedly enacted in a barangay session dated February 6, 2011.

However, the complainants said the minutes dated February 6, 2011 did not show that there was such resolution passed by the Sangguniang Barangay.

“Neither was it established that the ordinance was posted in at least two conspicuous places in the barangay hall. Underwent three readings, and was submitted for public hearing,” the complaint read.

Almacin denied any liability. He argued that his re-election to office bars him from any administrative penalty. Laurente, on the other hand, failed to submit her counter-affidavit.

The anti-graft office found that the increase in barangay fees was mentioned in the February 6 session and was concurred by the Sangguniang Bayan members.

The Ombudsman, however, found out that the barangay tax ordinance was inappropriately passed not having undergone the required three readings and public hearing.

The anti-graft body admonished the respondents to follow the procedures in the passage of the ordinance before its implementation. (FREEMAN)

 

ALMACIN

APALAN BARANGAY CAPTAIN ORLANDO ALMACIN

BARANGAY

BARANGAY RESOLUTION NO

IRISH INABANGAN AMORES

LAURENTE

NIMFA LAURENTE

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-VISAYAS

PONCIANO ESTALANTE AND NECIFORO BESIAO

SANGGUNIANG BARANGAY

SANGGUNIANG BAYAN

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