SABANGAN, Mountain Province – A re-elected punong barangay will no longer have the luxury of serving another term after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered his dismissal from the service for gross neglect of duty when he allegedly failed to submit his required Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2010 to 2016.
In a 5-page decision penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Joyrich M. Golangco, aside from dismissal from the service for gross neglect of duty, Napua Punong Barangay Willie B. Bacoong will also be meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirements benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and will be barred from taking civil service examinations.
In the event that dismissal from the service cannot be enforced due to Bacoong’s separation from the government service, the decision added that the penalty will be converted to a fine in the amount equivalent to his salaries for one year payable to the Ombudsman and may be deductible from his retirement benefits, accrued leave credits or any receivables from his office.
The Ombudsman directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement the decision immediately upon receipt pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
It can be recalled that on August 3, 2017, Richard Budod and Juniper C. Dominguez filed a complaint of neglect of duty against Bacoong for his alleged failure to file his SALNs for the year 2010 to 2016 and declare his mini-dump truck in the same documents.
However, Baccong denied the charges against him and explained that he filed his SALNs for the questioned years before the Secretary of the Liga ng mga Barangay, Sabangan chapter and attached the copies of his assailed SALNs in his counter-affidavit.
Apart from dismissal from the service, the Ombudsman also recommended for his indictment for 7 counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act (RA) No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public officials and Employees which will be filed the local courts.
The Ombudsman found substantial evidence to hold Bacoong administratively liable for gross neglect of duty which upgraded the earlier case of neglect of duty filed against him because the cause of action in a complaint is not determined by the designation given to it by the parties and it is the allegations in the body of the complaint that define or describe it.
In the said case, records showed that Bacoong failed to submit his SALNs for 2010 to 2016 to the Deputy Ombudsman as required by existing rules and regulations and that the submission of his SALNS to the Liga ng mga Barangay is not deemed substantial compliance with the requirement of the law because they were not submitted to the proper office.
The Ombudsman noted that Bacoong’s SALNs for the years 2011 to 2014 which were allegedly submitted to the Liga office are all undated and unsigned while his SALNs for 2015 to 2016 are undated and all of the documents do not have any showing that they were received by the Liga, thus, his repeated failure to comply with law manifestly shows his palpable breach of duty making him administratively liable for gross neglect of duty.