Bontoc chief of hospital faces grave abuse charges

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – A member of the provincial board formally charged the chief of hospital of the Bontoc General Hospital for alleged grave abuse of authority after she reportedly misappropriated cash donations made to the hospital.

In his letter to the Office of the Ombudsman, boardmember Henry Bastian, chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order, Human Rights and Civil Defense and a member of the Committee on Laws, stated that the outcome of the investigation is a separate case from other cases filed against Dr. Raquel Kanongkong, chief of the Bontoc General Hospital, for alleged misappropriation of cash donations last March 2019 and others.

Based on the facts of the case, the aforesaid incident was reportedly committed sometime in 2018, thus, the same has separate cause of action, however, the same had resulted from a similar event which is the Walk for a Cause activity conducted in the same year.

Before the said activity, All Saint’s Credit Cooperative donated some P10,000 to the dialysis patients as financial assistance during the fund-raising event to years ago.

The said cash donation was received by Lalaini Acay and she personally submitted the same to the chief of hospital in the presence of Ian Dana and Connie Fabaan to be the one who will deposit it to the cashier’s office.

However, the chief of hospital later signed the acknowledgement receipt and that the aid cash donation was never deposited to the cashier’s section of the hospital to be out rightly divided equally to the dialysis patients who are the beneficiaries during the time of the said donation.

Bastian added that the chief of hospital allegedly never bothered to liquidate such amount but no one dared to conduct an audit of the same as she reportedly misappropriated the funds into her personal benefit to the great prejudice of the dialysis patients who were the beneficiaries of the donation campaign.

According to the complaint, the chief of hospital never disclosed the aforesaid cash donation during the grievance committee hearing against her to similar complaints sometime in November 2019 to test her honesty and credibility when she was asked about the cash donations that she personally received.

Bastian stipulated that those who are supposed to get their share as beneficiaries of the donation were deprived of the same as some of them already died.

The complaint added that Acay, who is the chief nurse of the dialysis section, testified that such cash donation from the All-Saint’s Credit Cooperative in 2018 was never liquidated because they will be the one who will divide the same and personally give the cash to the dialysis patients if the same has to be liquidated.

Bastian argued that such character and alleged misconduct of the chief of hospital is allegedly oppressive and unbecoming of a public officer and that the misappropriation of the cash donation to the prejudice of the dialysis patients by the chief of hospital is a commission of a crime punishable by law and no law had authorized her to do the same.

He asserted that the donor thought all the while that that its donation had helped the dialysis patients but the same was actually personally used by the chief of hospital for her personal benefit and that it will be difficult to conclude that she was innocent in the absence of her liquidation report in 2018 to be supported by the dialysis section if indeed such cash donation was given to the beneficiaries and no other than the dialysis patients.

Moreover, Bastian emphasized that it is hard to accept that the chief of hospital allegedly clearly took advantage of her position being the head of office in collecting cash donations and not the cashier’s section of the hospital for her alleged personal gain, an act which is reprehensible beyond understanding that bears highly no good moral character.

He emphasized that if such person being the head of office commits such acts as charged, the patients will surely suffer and drag the down the credibility of the hospital, especially that it is being managed by the provincial government.

As of press time, the concerned chief of hospital cannot be reached for comment on the aforesaid complaint that was filed against her and that she is always welcome to provide her own statement on the allegations against her. By HENT

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