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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Dismissal unfair,
accountant says


Bacolod City Accountant Eduardo Ravena yesterday questioned the fairness of the dismissal order of the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas against him.

Ravena was one of the six city employees ordered dismissed by the Ombudsman in 2007 for the alleged tampering of disbursement vouchers during the administration of former Mayor Luzviminda Joy Valdez.

The case was filed by the Commission on Audit Regional Office VI against Management and Audit Service Office officer-in-charge Ricardo Dahildahil Jr., Crafts and Trade helper Salvacion Ortega, Office of the City Treasurer clerk II Lalaine Villalva, former executive assistant Renato Rojo, former City Accountant Pioquito Quinones and Ravena.

Ravena said he has yet to receive the official memorandum of Mayor Evelio Leonardia implementing the order of the Ombudsman since it was mailed last week. He is on leave until Friday, he said.

The memorandum was issued by Leonardia on July 5, 2012 to Ravena, Dahildahil, Ortega and Villanueva, who are also on leave.

Rojo and Quiñones are already deceased.

Ravena said he is questioning the fairness of the dismissal order of the Ombudsman, considering that of the nine vouchers allegedly tampered, he only signed one.

He added that given the gravity of the decision, they filed a motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman.

In his motion, Ravena asked the Ombudsman to reverse and set aside its 2007 decision.

Ravena claimed he was ordered dismissed because he signed a check for P38,400 reimbursed by Valdez.

He said he presumed that everything was in order, especially as there were no obvious alterations in the vouchers and the receipts had no erasures.

All the documents were complete and there was an inspection and acceptance report attached, aside from the attendance of the participants of the Lakbay Laban Kontra sa Droga involving all schools, he added.

Ravena compared his case to that of Mayor Roderick Paulate and two employees of Quezon City, who were suspended for six months for a case involving alleged ghost employees that even involved a bigger amount.

He hopes the Ombudsman will look into the motion for reconsideration they filed and will be fair and reverse its decision, he said.

If their motion is not granted, they will elevate the matter to the Court of Appeals.

“I just did my job and did not gain a single centavo from the transaction,” Ravena said. Now his employment, the sole lifeblood of support and means of livelihood for him and his family, is at stake, including his pension, he added.

Ravena, 59, said he is supposed to retire from government service next year. He has worked for 18 years in other government institutions, including the Philippine National Bank and Land Bank of the Philippines, and has served City Hall for 11 years.

Ravena said he heard through the media that there was one person who followed-up the case.

If they did not try to follow it up, the decision would not have been implemented yet since they have a pending motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman, he said.

He said he believes it is a political move by someone who aspires to run in 2013.

Charges were filed last week against Leonardia, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan and other employees for the city’s failure to implement the dismissal order of the Ombudsman.*CGS

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