OMBUDSMAN Former town mayor fined for simple misconduct
The Office of the Ombudsman has imposed a fine on former Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay mayor Maria Esperanza Corazon Rillera after she was found guilty of simple misconduct for reassigning an employee.
The fine, equivalent to her one month and a day salary, was imposed in lieu of the original penalty of one month and one day suspension.
In a statement posted on its website yesterday, the ombudsman said the penalty was converted into a fine equivalent to her one month and a day salary in view of her separation from the service.
The ombudsman said its investigators found that Rillera reassigned a midwife to a beautification office in violation of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.
Rillera issued in June 2013 a memorandum reassigning municipal midwife Consolacion Celeste to the Make Environment Clean, a special body which aims to intensify the municipal-wide beautification campaign.
The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers provides that “the reassignment of a public health worker is prohibited, except when made in the interest of public service, in which case the employee concerned should be given a written notice inform- ing him or her of the reasons for the reassignment.”
In its decision, the ombudsman stated that “in reassigning a Midwife I to help implement a beautification campaign, the respondent did not comply with the Magna Carta requirement that public health workers may only be reassigned in the interest of public service since her new duties are so far removed from her usual responsibilities as a Midwife I.”
The anti-graft office, however, said Rillera “had no clear intent to violate the law” because she directed all reassigned employees to return to their original work stations five months later based on a memorandum issued in November 2013.
Misconduct is defined as a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, particularly unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer.