Ombudsman orders dismissal of Puerto Princesa mayor

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2017 12:58 PM

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron. Photo courtesy of Puerto Princesa government website.

MANILA - The Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Bantay Puerto-VIP Security Task Force project manager Karl Bayron for serious dishonesty and grave misconduct after failing to declare their biological relationship.

The issue stemmed from the service contract of the mayor with Karl for the Bantay Puerto position from July 1 to December 31, 2013.

The mayor represented the Puerto Princesa City government in the contract that entitled Karl to a monthly salary of P16,000.

However, it was not disclosed in the contract that Karl is the mayor's son. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular 17-02 prohibits a person covered by the rule on nepotism to be hired under a service contract.

Father and son argued in their counter-affidavits that Karl's position is non-plantilla and non-career.

They added that Karl's position is "highly-confidential in nature where trust and confidence are primary considerations" as allowed by the CSC.

But the Ombudsman found no merit on their defense.

The Ombudsman reiterated that "while Karl's engagement was to a confidential position, which is exempted from the rule on nepotism, the disclosure of their filial relationship was still necessary."

"If the relationship between the appointee and the appointing authority is not disclosed, how could the authorities determine whether an appointment is nepotistic or not or if it falls under the exemption?" the Ombudsman added.

Aside from dismissal, the Ombudsman ordered the forfeiture of the father and son Bayron's retirement benefits. They are also banned from holding public office for life.