Ombudsman urged to probe SBMA official

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2017 07:11 PM

An anti-corruption group on Tuesday filed an administrative complaint against Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) legal affairs deputy administrator Randy Escolango for allegedly performing duties outside his work as officer-in-charge (OIC) administrator.

In a complaint, Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) asked the Ombudsman to investigate Escolango for malfeasance, gross or grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Escolango was appointed OIC administrator on October 19, 2016. Within two months, Escolango allegedly issued orders and signed contracts that were beyond his scope as temporary administrator.

This includes designations of new officers and re-assignment of other personnel.

He also allegedly authorized out-of-town travel of several personnel in Bataan for a strategic planning activity.

CCW also claimed that Escolango executed and entered into contracts, agreements, and instruments for and in behalf of the SBMA.

CCW said only the SBMA administrator and chairman are authorizd to make appointments.

The group said an OIC, like Escolango, "enjoys limited powers which are confined to functions of administration and ensuring that the office continues its usual activities."

"Clearly, (Escolango) performed acts which are discretionary in nature and hence are beyond his authority to do so being merely an OIC. Such acts of the respondent are therefore flagrant, unlawful and willful transgressions of established and definite rules of action which constitute grave or gross misconduct," the complaint read.

As a lawyer, Escolango should have known that issuance of office such orders and memoranda are beyond his capacity as OIC, CCW added.

Escolango has yet to comment on the complaint.