Ombudsman orders probe into DPWH over failure to sanction officials

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2020 01:12 PM

MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered an investigation into the alleged failure of the Department of Public Works and Highways to implement a suspension and two dismissal orders against mid-level officials.

In an order dated Jan. 27 and released to the media Thursday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires directed Assistant Ombudsman Caesar Asuncion to form a panel of investigators to look into the non-implementation of orders against Region VIII Assistant Director Virgilio Eduarte, Davao Oriental Engineer Joselito Caballero and Manila Engineer V Oscar Isidro.

“The panel is given a period of 30 days within which to submit their report and recommendations to the undersigned,” Martires said in the order.

Eduarte was placed under preventive suspension in an order dated February 1, 2019, while Caballero and Isidro were ordered dismissed from service in two separate orders dated November 29, 2017 and April 30, 2018.

Eduarte is facing a complaint from a losing bidder, who was supposedly unlawfully disqualified to bid for a storm surge protection project in Palo, Leyte despite a lower bid that would have saved government P37 million.

Caballero, whose motion for reconsideration for the dismissal order was already denied, was found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for a farm to market road project which supposedly did not undergo public bidding.

Isidro, meantime, was dismissed over grave misconduct and dishonesty in relation to 18 emergency repairs made on a pickup truck amounting to P371,696.

Isidro denied participation in any unlawful act alleged in the complaint while Caballero contended that the Ombudsman was “too harsh absent any showing of serious misconduct.”