OM­BUDS­MAN Former town mayor fined for sim­ple mis­con­duct

Sun.Star Cebu - - NATION - / SUNS­TAR PHILIP­PINES

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.

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