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Dismissed Southern Leyte governor Mercado charged for faking education

Dismissed Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado has been charged with falsification at the Sandiganbayan for allegedly “faking” his educational credentials.

State prosecutors accused Mercado for two counts of falsification of public documents for “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously” falsifying entries in his personal data sheet (PDS) and in his Elective Local Official’s Profile Directory (ELOPD) in 2010.

Mercado supposedly stated in his PDS that he graduated from the University of Visayas (UV) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering despite knowing fully well that he did not enroll in the university, nor obtain his engineering diploma.

Mercado also failed to state in his PDS the year when he graduated from his elementary and secondary education at the Maasin Central School and the UV, respectively.

Furthermore, the Ombudsman accused the governor of falsifying his ELOPD in Data Capture Form which he later submitted to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

In his directory, Mercado again claimed that he was a civil engineer. He also stated that he graduated from the Maasin Central School in 1968, despite personal knowledge that he completed his elementary education in 1971.

The Ombudsman stressed Mercado had the “legal obligation to disclose the truth” in his ELOPD and PDS, where he is expected to indicate “true, correct, and complete statements.”

A total bail bond of P48,000 has been recommended in the case.

In a separate administrative case, the Ombudsman had ordered the dismissal from the service of Mercado over the procurement of second-hand vehicles in 2007 during his time as Maasin City mayor. — BM, GMA News