Sagada mayor, tourism officer charged for graft and unethical acts

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SAGADA, Mountain Province  – Mayor Eduardo Latawan and tourism officer Robert Pangod, former executive secretary of Latawan were charged for alleged graft practices, abuse of authority and violation of the code of conduct for public officials and employees.

In a complaint filed at the Office of the Ombudsman by private citizen Grace Bandoy, complainant alleged that Latawan and Pangod conniving with each other, entered into a contract of service with a certain Mary Ann Wallang to work on 10 proposals for the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project (CHARMP) in early 2012.

The complainant forwarded that a cheque was issued in the name of Mary Ann Wallang in the amount of P50,000 by the local government unit of Sagada purportedly as payment for the CHARMP project proposals she supposedly submitted.

A letter of retraction however noted that Wallang has not authored said CHARMP project proposals and did not receive such payments from the local government.

Further, Wallan, in her letter of retraction dated August 31, 2012, claimed she was only coerced into admitting having submitted such CHARM proposals when she was summoned by the office of the municipal treasurer and was asked whether or not she indeed have made and submitted such proposals.

She added that she was just ashamed to turn down the request of Pangod, the uncle of her husband, to appear and admit that she was the one who made the CHARM proposals.

“It is clear that Pangod and Latawan concocted and connived with each other to clearly defraud the local government and that they could have been the authors of the 1- CHARM proposals which Wallang reportedly submitted,” Bandoy stated in her complaint.

Said complaint further asked the Ombudsman to order Latawan, Pangod and CHARMP through Department of Agriculture director Marilyn Catalina to produce said project proposals and other pertinent documents related thereto in order to swerve as a basis for the investigation of the case considering that such documents are being concealed from her.

Meantime, Pangod is the subject of an investigation by the Civil Service Commission for claiming he is a college graduate of Baguio Central University but negated by a BCU certification dated May 2014 that he is not based on the roster of graduates from the institution.

Pangod was appointed as municipal tourism officer 2014 but previously served as the private secretary of the municipal mayor prior to his appointment.

Based on the minimum qualification standards of the position of municipal tourism officer, one of the requirements is that the one to be appointed to the position should be a college graduate.

Latawan and Pangod cannot be reached for comments on the string of cases that were filed against them amidst efforts to reach them as of press time.

By Dexter A. See

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