Mabilog, Moreno ordered dismissed anew

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has again dismissed Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno whom she had previously ordered booted out of office on corruption allegations.

Mabilog, who was dismissed in October for his alleged P8.98-million unexplained wealth, was sacked this time for purportedly ordering a councilor to set up a dummy company that would tow vehicles violating the city’s ordinance against illegal parking.

The latest penalty would be converted to a fine equivalent to his one-year salary, or about P1.4 million, according to a statement from the Ombudsman’s press office.

Mabilog left the country in August and remains abroad after President Rodrigo Duterte linked him to the illegal drug trade.

Revenue sharing

The latest case against him arose from an agreement he signed on Feb. 17, 2015, with 3L Towing Services to implement the 2014 illegal parking ordinance.

The agreement provided a 70-30 revenue sharing in favor of 3L for the first five years.

The Ombudsman said it was “undisputed” that 3L was selected “without compliance with any procurement process required under the relevant law.”

Mabilog said he had written the city council 10 days after signing the agreement to suspend it. 3L proprietor Leny Garcia also withdrew from the deal three months later.

The Court of Appeals (CA) threw out his petition challenging his dismissal because he used the wrong mode of appeal.

The latest Ombudsman decision to oust Moreno followed three earlier orders to dismiss him and one three-month suspension.

Moreno remains in office after winning all his previous appeals at the CA.

No public bidding

In the latest case, the Ombudsman found Moreno guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and acting against the “best interest of the service” for leasing heavy equipment without public bidding when he was governor of Misamis Oriental province in 2009 and 2010.

The P2.96-million lease agreements between the provincial government and Equiprent Corp. were marked by a “clear intent to violate the law on procurement and a flagrant disregard of established rule,” the Ombudsman said.

The Ombudsman first tried to remove Moreno as mayor in October 2015 for settling the tax dues of Ajinomoto Philippines for P300,000 instead of pursuing the full P2.92-million deficiency.

In July 2016, the Ombudsman ordered Moreno suspended for leasing a building for the city’s boxing program without city council authorization.

Moreno was ordered dismissed in June 2017 and again in August 2017 for an allegedly anomalous P20.5-million road maintenance program.

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