Diaz denies politics behind suspension of dep’t heads

first_imgAn order signed by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson stated: “After a careful perusal of the allegations and evidence available and presented, this office concludes that a prima facie case for Gross Neglect of Duty exists against you (respondent).” BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA The memo also ordered Salado and Jalandoni to refrain from entering the premises of the Provincial Capitol, Provincial Budget Office and any of its offices during the duration of his suspension or from doing such acts that will influence the witnesses and the proceeding. The complaints against the department heads, according to Diaz, reached the internal audit of the province and the Commission on Audit that’s why they have to be addressed. The provincial administrator pointed out the same cause was the basis for a show cause order against Mina Pellejo, head of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program. BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz denied politics or personal motives were behind the suspension of Provincial Budget officer Jose Percival Salado Jr. and Recreation and Mambukal Resort Welfare Services Officer V Ellen Marie Jalandoni. Diaz said the two department heads have two options – submit a position paper or face a hearing.  Diaz also clarified there was no formal complaint filed against Dr. Cristina Orbecido, head of the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center, and Karen Dinsay, head of the Scholarship Program. Diaz furthered that with the suspension of Salado and Jalandoni, he was now considering appointing an officer-in-charge in their departments but refused to give namescenter_img “The administrative charges warrant a preventive suspension in view of the fact that the respondent exercises authority over the herein witnesses and the Provincial Budget Office where evidence, testimonial or documentary are available. It is therefore imperative that the witnesses, other testimonial and documentary evidence, as well as the proceedings itself, be protected from whatever form of influence from the respondent to give due course to a fair and impartial investigation and hearing,” he added. “They will need a lawyer and we will appoint a prosecutor from the Provincial Legal Office during the hearing to be presided by a hearing officer or a panel,” Diaz added. Diaz said the charges against the two department heads have to do with money matters. Earlier on Monday, Salado and Jalandoni were placed on a 60-day suspension. The show cause order was sent to the three but it was put on hold because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. “The case has something to with alleged overspending,” Diaz said. Salado’s suspension stemmed from an alleged failure, as budget officer, to study and evaluate the budgetary implications and non-submission of comments, recommendations and objections the proposal and discussion of legislations enacted and promulgated by the Provincial Board in the creation of new positions by the Province of Negros Occidental in its annual budget for fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This thereby increased the excess in the PS cap allowance from P106,134,890.46 in 2015 to P595,224,524.03 in 2019 and leading to the disallowance of the said amount in 2019 and prohibition on Province of Negros Occidental to provide for additional PS items until such time that the PS cap is observed./PNlast_img

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