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By: Izobelle T. Pulgo, Norman V. Mendoza January 24,2017 - 11:11 PM



Aloguinsan mayor faces dismissal, Lapu-Lapu City mayor suspended

The incumbent mayor of Aloguinsan town was ordered dismissed from service by the Office of the Ombudsman, along with his wife, who also served as town mayor, and several municipal employees, who were members of the Bids and Awards Committee in 2010.

The reason: they authorized the purchase of food on several occasions from a bakeshop owned by the mayor’s wife.

Yesterday, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza was also suspended for three months by the Sandiganbayan stemming from a case of alleged misuse of P15 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) deposited by former congressman Clavel Martinez in 2002 to the account of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, which allegedly went to her personal account.

In 2002, when the funds were released, Radaza was the treasurer of GSP.

The Sandiganbayan suspension order was not immediately implemented because of a pending motion for reconsideration filed by Radaza.

This time, however, she accepted the order, after her two motions for reconsideration were denied by the court.

Vice Mayor Marcial Ycong has been appointed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as acting mayor.

Spouses Moreno

Cynthia Moreno, wife of Aloguinsan Mayor Augustus Caesar Moreno, was elected mayor in May 2007 while Augustus was elected in 2010. Thus the spouses consecutively held office as mayor of Aloguinsan in 2010.

That year, the municipal government made 28 purchases of food supplies from AVG Bakeshop for a total amount of P282,725.



The disbursement vouchers for the payment of the purchase were approved by Cynthia as mayor from February to July 2010 and by Augustus as vice mayor in April and then as mayor from August to December 2010.

The spouses both admitted that Cynthia owned AVG Bakeshop and ran the business as a Sole Proprietorship. However, both claimed that Cynthia sold the business to a certain Lyn Tojeno for P70,000 on May 10, 2007, and thus had divested interest therein.

To prove the sale, the wife presented a Deed of Absolute Sale, duly notarized.

Tojeno, however, failed to transfer the registration of the business to her name.

The Department of Trade and Industry issued a Certification that the business name AVG Bakeshop was recorded in their registry as owned by Cynthia Moreno until its registration expired in 2012.

BAC Members

The BAC members, Pepito Maguilimotan, Nonela Villegas, Marilyn Flordeliza, Gertrudes Ababon, and Evangeline Manigos; BAC Technical Working Group (TWG) Orven Nengasca; and BAC Secretariat Emilia Luz Celes admitted that the municipal government purchased food supplies from AVG Bakery, but like the Morenos, they asserted that the establishment was already owned by Tojeno at that time.

But they also admitted that Tojeno failed to register with the DTI and have Official Receipts printed for her business.

They, however, said that BAC was not involved in the stage of purchases and thus had no opportunity to examine the receipts issued by AVG Bakeshop to the LGU.

Simulated sale

The Ombudsman, however, concluded that the sale of AVG Bakeshop from Cynthia to Tojeno was simulated.

The joint resolution dated November 21, 2016 said “evidence abounds that in 2010, they had direct and/or indirect pecuniary interest in AVG Bakeshop and its contracts or transactions with the municipal government of Aloguinsan because the supposed conveyance by Cynthia Moreno of AVG Bakeshop to Tojeno in 2007 was simulated and did not of itself, result in the divestment required by law.”

The Ombudsman pointed out that a sole proprietorship is not a legal entity separate and distinct from its proprietor.

“It is but an occupation or activity that the proprietor has decided to engage in and for which reason he will enter into transactions,” the resolution read.

All income, expenses and obligations incurred by the business are the proprietor’s personally; thus it is still her Tax Identification Number (TIN) that is used in the filing of the resulting tax of the business, as was in this case.

“AVG Bakeshop’s cash slips displaying CMoreno’s name and TIN as proprietor were used in the subject transactions,” the resolution read. “Due to this, AVG Bakeshop’s income and liabilities, taxes, and SSS contributions also continued to be CMoreno’s throughout 2010.”

“Thus a sole proprietorship may not be sold. A proprietor cannot sell his activities. He may only sell whatever assets or inventory he had or used in engaging in his activities,” the resolution said.

The Ombudsman said any sale by Cynthia Moreno to Tojeno in 2007 involved merely a transfer of assets and inventory. Cynthia Moreno did not inform any of the government agencies that she had ceased operating as the sole proprietor of AVG Bakeshop.


The anti-graft office held incumbent Aloguinsan Mayor Augustus Caesar Moreno, his spouse, former mayor and vice mayor Cynthia Moreno, as well as BAC members Pepito Maguilimotan, Nonela Villegas, Marilyn Flordeliza, Gertrudes Ababon, and Evangeline Manigos, guilty of grave misconduct and dismissed them from service.



They were also meted with cancellation of their eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office or be employed in government service.

In case the penalty of dismissal could no longer be enforced due to separation from service, the penalty would be converted into a fine equivalent to their salary for one year.

In addition to their dismissal, the spouses Moreno, as well as Maguilimotan, Villegas, Floredeliza, Ababon, and Manigos, were also indicted separately with violations of Republic Act 3019 or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, before the Sandiganbayan.

However, the charges for violation of RA 3019 against BAC member Maria Iris Andrino, BAC Technical Working Group’s Orven Nengasca, and BAC Secretariat Emilia Celis were dismissed for lack of probable cause.

Cynthia was also indicted for violation of RA 6713 or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials” before the Sandiganbayan.

“AMoreno and CMoreno as Mayors, and the BAC members all knew the stringent aspects of the procurement process and should have demanded nothing short of compliance,” the anti-graft office held.

It was further held by the Ombudsman that “analysis of the transaction documents revealed a concerted effort to defraud”.

“The systematic and serial award of purchases to AVG Bakeshop in violation of procurement laws and related regulations screamed intentionality either in act or omission; manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and/or gross inexcusable negligence,” the resolution reads.

In a phone interview with Cebu Daily News, Augustus said that they will utilize the legal remedies available to them.

“(We will) avail of the legal remedies,” he said. “Mo-file og MR (motion for reconsideration) sa Ombudsman.” (We will file an MR.)

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TAGS: Aloguinsan, Cebu, Department of Interior and Local Government, dismissal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Paz Radaza, Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan, suspension

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