MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman found Quezon City 2nd District Councilor Roderick Paulate and 1st District Rep. Francisco Calalay Jr. guilty of falsification of official documents, serious dishonesty, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and grave misconduct for allegedly hiring ghost employees.
Paulate and Calalay, as well as liaison officers Flordeliza Alvarez and Vicente Bajamunde, are perpetually disqualified from holding public office. Their civil service eligibilities are also cancelled, and their retirement benefits forfeited.
Paulate and Calalay allegedly hired 60 ghost contractual employees who received P5,000 to P10,000 monthly salaries in 2010. The said employees were listed as field inspectors, district coordinators and office aides.
READ: Ombudsman suspends Roderick Paulate
The Ombudsman's investigation revealed that there were no records of the employees' birth certificates and NBI records. Only the endorsement letters and personal data sheets were submitted by the two public officials.
The employees' signatures on the monthly payroll were also inconsistent, and barangay officials attested that the names on the list of job order are non-existent.
Paulate and Calalay initially argued that they "relied on the endorsement of their staff and coordinators" because they did not have time to interview the applicants.
But the Ombudsman said in its decision that "Alvarez and Bajamunde were the ones who claimed the processed payrolls from the disbursing officer to have them signed by the supposed listed job contractors, returned the signed payrolls to the disbursing officer, and collected the full amount. They, however, failed to satisfactorily explain why each job contractor had different signatures appearing in the subject payrolls."
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales added that Calalay and Paulate will still be held liable because they endorsed the employees, and even issued certifications that the said ghost employees had rendered service.
"The falsified payrolls would not have realized were it not for the principal participation of their superiors Calalay and Paulate as Quezon City councilors," the decision read.