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Gica contests dismissal order, files motion for reconsideration at Ombudsman’s office

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo February 06,2017 - 11:32 PM


Dumanjug Mayor Efren Gica is confident that he will stay in his post as he intends to file an appeal next week denying all the charges against him.

Dumanjug Mayor Efren Gica is confident that he will stay in his post as he intends to file an appeal next week denying all the charges against him.

Dumanjug Mayor Efren “Gungun” Gica, who was ordered dismissed after he was found guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct, filed a motion for reconsideration on Monday at the Visayas Ombudsman’s office, contesting the anti-graft office’s decision against him.

Gica said he is raising several arguments in his motion for reconsideration to explain his side and to contest his dismissal.

He said this would include forum shopping on the part of the complainant, former Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia, which led to the Ombudsman decision ordering his dismissal from service and finding probable cause to indict him for malversation of public funds, falsification of official documents, and violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

He said that under the law, a complainant was not allowed to file several complaints over the same facts against the same party as it would constitute forum shopping.

Gica also said that among the arguments he raised in his motion for reconsideration are non-receipt on his part of any summons to file his counter-affidavit and position paper, and the authority of the Ombudsman to discipline a Salary Grade 27 official, the salary bracket which Gica falls under since being elected as mayor, among others.

Gica said that Sandiganbayan, as opposed to the Ombudsman, has original jurisdiction over cases involving Salary Grade 27 officials.

In addition, Gica insisted that he had submitted four receipts in his liquidation report, belying Garcia’s claim that there was only one receipt which Gica had submitted and allegedly tampered with.

“Wa gyud ta mag-falsify sa mga dokumento,” he said. “Klaro ug tataw kaayo nga upat kabuok ang atong resibo nga gisumiter sa accounting didto sa atoang lungsod.”

(I never falsified any document. It was clear that I submitted four receipts to the accounting department of our municipal government)

According to Gica, he had all the receipts, which would account for the whole amount of P21,435, photocopied knowing that Garcia would be back as mayor by the time he would submit his liquidation report and would thus have control of the original copies of the receipts he submitted.

Gica’s dismissal and indictment by the Ombdusman stemmed from the complaint filed by then town mayor Garcia whom Gica had defeated during last year’s elections.

Gica was sitting as acting municipal mayor while Garcia was serving a preventive suspension when Gica obtained a cash advance in the amount of P50,000 on April 25, 2014.

The amount was used by Gica as payment for the meals of the town’s barangay officials during the Association of Local Budget Officers (ALBO) seminar held in Cebu City.

In his complaint, Garcia said that Gica made a liquidation of the amount he advanced, stating that the total cost of the dinner during the ALBO seminar was P21,435 and that it was held at Ding Qua Qua Dimsum located at JY Square, Lahug.

Gica returned to the municipal treasurer what was left the amount he advanced, amounting to P28,565.

However, Garcia claimed that a supposed certified true copy of the Ding Qua Qua original receipt (OR) showed that the actual amount paid for the ALBO dinner was only P11,435.

Garcia contended that Gica “willfully misappropriated and pocketed for his own personal benefit” the excess amount of P10,000.

Garcia claimed Gica also falsified the purchase order, where it was indicated that the dinner was for 100 persons when it was only reportedly for 39 attendees.

But Gica said he was confident that the dismissal order would eventually be overturned.

He added he also planned to file a temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals within the week to stop the implementation of his dismissal order.

In addition, Gica said he had filed a counter-charge of falsification of documents, grave abuse of authority, and malversation of public funds against Garcia as well as an answer with grounds for dismissal against Garcia before the Sandiganbayan.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, dismissed, Gica, office, Ombudsman, Order, reconsideration

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