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Ombudsman orders filing of criminal charges vs. ex-TESDA head Syjuco

March 13, 2013 8:13pm
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of criminal charges against former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General and incumbent Iloilo Rep. Augusto "Boboy" Syjuco, Jr. and 10 others in connection with 2007 agency irregularities in various projects.

Eight of them, including Syjuco, also face dismissal from the service, which could lead to the cancelation of their eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the office said that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales signed a 52-page resolution dated March 8 in which she found probable cause to indict the following persons for violating RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act:

- Syjuco, Jr.,
- former Deputy Director General Rogelio Peyuan,
- Director IV Antonio Del Rosario,
- Director IV Ernesto Beltran,
- Director IV Teodoro Sanico,
- Regional Director IV Buen Mondejar,
- Atty. Marjorie Docdocil,
- Chief Administrative Officer Juanito Belda,
- Administrative Officer Maximiano Montemayor,
- Senior Administrative Assistant I Francisco Fang and,
- private respondent Vicente Roxas, who is the President and Chairman of V.G. Roxas Co., Inc.

According to the statement, the criminal charges were based on complaints filed by the Ombudsman's Field Investigation Office (FIO) and Annie Geron concerning irregularities in the disbursement of funds involving some projects of the TESDA's Ladderized Education Program (LEPTES).

Morales' resolution cited a 2009 Commission on Audit Report that said the training equipment and testing tools delivered by V.G. Roxas Co., Inc. under the LEPTES and other Development Fund-TESDA (NDFTES) projects "were of low quality and overpriced ranging from 4% to 42,732%, or by P60,964,195.38 which account for at least 20.18% of the total procurement amount of P302,109,054.53."

"After inspecting the various supplies under the projects, the COA revealed that P70,962,614.24 out of the P133,035,366.24 worth of training equipment and testing tools remained unutilized," the statement also said.

The COA report also observed that the unused tools "had been mostly gathering dust, while some were destroyed by rodents, and stored in disarray in stock rooms or still found in their original boxes, resulting in wastage of government resources."

Aside from criminal charges, Ombudsman Morales also found Syjuco, Jr., Peyuan, Beltran, Sanico, Mondejar, Belda, Fang and Montemayor "guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service."

The Ombudsman accordingly meted on them the penalty of dismissal from the service, "which shall carry with it the cancelation of their eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office."

If dismissal cannot be carried out due to retirement, resignation or separation from the service, the penalty, instead, would be a fine equivalent to one year's salary with the same accessory penalties. — DVM, GMA News
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