Cebu News

Garcia assures due process in fuel pilferage probe

Nicholas Jon Malaga - The Freeman

MANILA, Philippines —  An extensive and impartial investigation is underway into the allegations of fuel pilferage involving some personnel from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CCDRRMO).

This was according to Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who stressed that a long investigation is part of the right for due process of all parties involved.

Last Monday, June 17, 2024, Garcia ordered to suspend the allocation of fuel subsidy of all Cebu City Hall and barangay vehicles, excluding the emergency and frontline vehicles, after complaints were reported against CCDRRMO officials and employees, who have allegedly been stealing government-allocated fuel for personal use.

In an interview with reporters last, June 20, 2024, Garcia said that the investigation on this matter is a “very long process” as he will request for an initial report from the city’s Human Resources Development Office and the Cebu City Legal Office.

He added that they will also need further affidavits, before he will call for clarificatory conferences.

“We may need additional affidavits. We need clarificatory hearings to decide on all of these things and of course, we must observe due process,” Garcia said.

“All of these things we have to do will not take one day for all of that. It is a series, it is a process of investigation, and after that we will know and we will find out. If there are any lapses or violations to our existing rules, regulation, guidelines, and laws, then we will penalize and sanction,” he added.

Further, the acting mayor stressed that if the allegations are proven otherwise, the public should also know, emphasizing the need for impartiality.

“If not (true), we will have to come out and open because it is also unfair for those who are being accused (kay) ninggawas na baya ilang mga pangan. So if wala jud sila’y mga lapses, wala’y mga violations, ipagawas pod just to be fair to them,” Garcia said.

Garcia also said that the investigation must go under the legal process before jumping to “negative” conclusions as those who were accused are still innocent until proven guilty, also with respect to their own reputation and families. (CEBU NEWS)

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