Wednesday, 18 October 2017
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 Ombudsman dismisses Puerto Princesa city mayor over son’s appointment

 City Mayor Lucilo Bayron of Puerto Princesa City has been ordered dismissed from the service after he was found guilty of Serious Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct.  In a Decision approved by the Ombudsman on 15 December 2016, Bayron and his son Karl Bayron, were found administratively liable for facilitating the appointment of Karl as a project manager of the Bantay Puerto-VIP Security Task Force.
            Aside from the dismissal order, the father and son duo were also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
            Records show that Lucilo entered into a contract of service with Karl who was hired as a project manager for the period 01 July to 31 December 2013, with a monthly salary of P16,000.00 paid out of the city coffers.  In the said contract, it clearly stated that the parties attested that Karl “is not related with the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity with the hiring authority.”
            In his counter-affidavit, mayor Bayron asserted that “the position of project manager is a non-plantilla and non-career position in the city government and that Karl’s primary function is to act as the head of the security personnel of the city mayor.”  Respondents also claimed that “Karl’s position is highly confidential in nature where trust and confidence are the primary considerations.”
            Brushing these arguments aside, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales stated that “while Karl’s engagement was to a confidential position, which is exempted from the rule on nepotism, the disclosure of their filial relationship was still necessary.”
            “As for Lucilo, the untruthful statement in the narration of facts was made with abuse of his office as city mayor and as hiring authority,” added Ombudsman Morales.
            The Ombudsman also stated the respondents violated Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 26 and 26-A (Series of 1997) which prohibits the designation of contractual employees, consultants or those holding non-career positions as officers-in-charge, executive directors, or supervisors who exercise control or supervision over regular and career personnel in the hiring agency, including local government units.
            “Their acts of concealing such relationship and making of a false statement in the contract constitutes a deliberate violation of the standard of behavior expected of government officials and employees, to state the truth,” narrated the Decision.
Dishonesty has been defined as the concealment or distortion of truth which shows lack of integrity or a disposition to defraud, cheat, deceive or betray and an intent to violate the truth.   On the other hand, misconduct is the intentional wrongdoing or deliberate violation of a rule of law or standard of behavior, especially by a government official and is considered grave when the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rules are present.

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