Dismissal await persons behind Odette aid ‘anomalies’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — “Heads will roll after this.”
This was the warning of Lawyer Johnson Hontanosas, the city’s deputy resident ombudsman, who is investigating the possible involvement of some City Hall officials and offices in ‘anomalies’ surrounding the distribution of financial aid to families affected by super typhoon Odette.
If proven guilty, those involved may be suspended or dismissed from work.
Mayor Michael Rama earlier ordered City Hall’s resident ombudsman, Lawyer Homer Cabaral, and other city lawyers to investigate the anomalies surrounding the Odette financial assistance distribution.
Hontanosas said they have officially started their investigation. A three-person fact-finding committee is now finalizing its recommendations before submitting the report to the mayor.
Their investigation started on June 17. They are giving persons, who are the subject of the ongoing investigation, three days to submit their written explanation.
Mayor Rama had asked Cabaral to lead the fact-finding committee and submit their investigation report before June 30.
“Heads will roll after this. That is what the mayor said. This is the result of his order to investigate (the anomaly). The outcome of this investigation will lead to preventive suspensions,” said Hontanosas.
The investigation committee, Hontanosas said, will especially determine if the mayor’s Executive Order No. 165 which provided the guidelines for the distribution of the cash aid, was followed.
Rama earlier said there would be “no sacred cows” in the ongoing investigation. No amount of intervention would also stop him from firing City Hall employees found of involvement in the Odette cash aid anomaly.
“Those who have to leave, leave. Those who should be terminated, terminate. Those who cannot be renewed, should not be renewed. I mean business,” Hontanosas said quoting Rama’s warning.
Earlier, questions were raised on the list of names that were included in the list of beneficiaries for Barangays Poblacion Pardo, Buhisan, and Parian.
In Poblacion Pardo, for example, the names of the deceased were still included in the list of Odette beneficiaries.
In Buhisan, some families allegedly received the financial assistance two times after the names of some household members appeared the city’s list twice. Because of this, other more deserving residents did not get their share of the aid.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has already intervened in the case of Barangay Parian. The two agencies have asked the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) to trace the unqualified individuals who received the financial aid.
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