The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the Office of the Ombudsman in holding an official of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) liable for the irregular release of cash advances amounting to P689.6 million in 2014.
In a 17-page decision by the appellate court’s Special 16th Division, penned by Associate Justice Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles, the petition filed by PCG Cdr. John Esplana was denied.
Esplana sought the reversal of the July 19, 2017 resolution that found him and 24 other PCG officers guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.
They were meted the penalty of dismissal from the service.
A report by the Commission on Audit stated that when it conducted document validation, business establishments indicated were not found in their supposed addresses on sales invoices, cash invoices or official receipts.
The validation process also yielded denials from several of the stated establishments with respect to the issuances of receipts and invoices.