Ombudsman suspends Quezon town mayor

Credit to Author: MA. REINA LEANNE TOLENTINO, TMT| Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2019 17:09:21 +0000

THE Office of the Ombudsman ordered the six months preventive suspension without pay of Mayor Sergio Francisco Emprese of San Andres, Quezon and five others pending investigation of the case for grave misconduct filed against them.

Also ordered suspended along with Emprese were Renato Fontanil, Royle Macandog, Pedro Ruiz Jr., Sheila May Llanto and Louie Senolos.

In its ruling, the Ombudsman said that after evaluation of the evidence presented, Emprese and five others might not be liable for illegal use of funds penalized under under the Revised Penal Code but for violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 on grave misconduct.

In an order signed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires, it directed Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to immediately implement the preventive suspension of Emprese and his co-accused while the case was under investigation.

“Without prejudice to the final disposition of the instant case, this Office finds there is a preliminary showing that the evidence of guilt of respondents Emprese, Fontanil, Macandog, Ruiz Jr., Llanto and Senolos for the offense of grave misconduct is strong,” the Ombudsman said in the Order.

The Ombudsman found basis to investigate the complaint citing the findings of the Commission on Audit saying, “Respondents’ exclusive grant to [Rouiebelle Store owned and operated by] Robessa Senolos and Louie Senolos, to supply food commodities in the Municipality in the amount of P878,374 without prior public bidding is a violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 and Republic Act 9184.”

RA 3019 is the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” while RA 9184 is the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”

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