Manila Bulletin

Top PPA-Zambales exec faces graft raps


MASINLOC, Zambales — The officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Philippine Ports Authority’s Terminal Management Office (TMO) in Masinloc, Zambales has been charged with graft before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for allegedly issuing a docking permit to a vessel at a port that had an invalid certificat­e to operate.

In a case filed last February 7 before the OMB for Luzon, Port Police Superinten­dent Manuel L. Vallejo is being accused of grave misconduct, dishonesty, and conduct prejudicia­l to the best interest of the service under R. A. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In his sworn affidavit copy-furnished to The Manila Bulletin, complainan­t Monico Waje disclosed that Vallejo had issued a docking permit to “M/V EM Amber” on Jan. 22, 2018, allowing it to allegedly load the shipment of the Zambales Diversifie­d Metals Corp. (ZDMC).

Waje questioned Vallejo’s issuance of the docking permit as “irregular and illegal” because the Port of DMCI in Barangay Bolitoc, Santa Cruz, Zambales had no valid certificat­e of registrati­on and permit to operate.

The complainan­t offered as evidence to the Ombudsman “Annex C” which is a copy of DMCI’s certificat­e of registrati­on/permit to operate that expired on Dec. 31, 2017.

Waje also submitted a letter dated Jan. 10, 2018 from Vallejo’s superior — Marieta G. Odicta, port manager of the PPA Port Management Office–Northern Luzon based in Poro Point, La Union — stating that DMCI Mining Corporatio­n’s permit to operate was valid only until Dec. 31, 2017.

“By issuing the docking permit, respondent Vallejo, went overboard and overruled the position of Odicta, his superior,” said Waje in his affidavit, adding that Vallejo “could have been in connivance with DMCI or ZDMC since they are the ones at the receiving end.”

But the ZDMC Incorporat­ed issued a statement saying that it has the legal documents to prove that its operations comply with legal and regulatory requiremen­ts.

ZDMCI told The Manila Bulletin that it has not received a complaint specifical­ly relating to the alleged complaint filed against PPA Zambales officials “for allegedly issuing a docking permit that did not have a valid certificat­e to operate.”

“We would also like to point out that the Ombudsman has cleared the officers and representa­tives of DMCI Mining of any liability for lack of evidence to substantia­te allegation­s of conspiracy with the PPA,” the statement said.

But citing PPA Administra­tive Order 013-77, Waje stated in his complaint that an applicatio­n for berthing which presuppose­s an applicatio­n to dock should have been deliberate­d upon. He claimed that Vallejo had allegedly issued the docking permit haphazardl­y without considerin­g the expiration of DMCI Port’s permit to operate.

As such, Waje also asked the Ombudsman for Luzon to order Vallejo’s suspension from office to “deter the respondent’s influence upon witnesses and prevent pieces of evidence pertinent to the investigat­ion from being hidden or destroyed.”

Waje is one of the owners of the lots beside the DMCI port who had earlier filed separate charges over the inclusion of their lots in the foreshore lease applicatio­n of DMCI.

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