Should officials facing charges be reappointed?
The term of Gov. Amado Tetangco at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ended on Sunday and President Aquino is expected to reappoint him. Is there nobody else who can be BSP governor? There are several deputy governors in the BSP. Can’t any one of them take Tetangco’s place, even in an acting capacity?
The reason I’m asking is that Tetangco is facing charges for what he has done at the BSP. No less than the Commission on Audit has pointed out numerous anomalies during his term as BSP governor, that include wasteful and unaccounted expenditures; the lavish giving of emoluments and benefits for his personal benefit and that of his cohorts; irregular hiring of expensive private lawyers to defend and pursue cases for the BSP; unduly withholding dividends from BSP’s earnings payable to the national treasury; evading taxes due to government from BSP’s operations.
Why should Tetangco be exempted from getting clearance from the Ombudsman before he can be reappointed to another term, which is a standard and routine requirement for the appointment and reappointments of public servants?
Some legal experts say that the power of appointment vested in the President is not absolute, and one of the limitations to its exercise, for which the President can be held accountable, is the appointment of qualified, responsible and honest public servants. Tetangco does not fall under the category of “desired” public officials.
There are many other dedicated and competent individuals who could be readily tapped to replace officials like him.
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Another public official facing numerous plunder, graft and malversation charges was elected, not appointed, to the government. He is the incumbent governor of Camarines Sur, Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte.
LRay is facing at least 11 cases at the Office of the Ombdusman based on auditing findings of the Commission on Audit. I will quote from a summary of 2009 audit findings for the province of Camarines Sur:
“1. Collections in the Sports Center (Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex-CWC) were not turned over to the treasurer/cashier within the period stated under Sections 15 and 32 of the Manual on New Government Accounting System (NGAS), Volume I, thus exposing government funds to possible loss, misuse or misappropriation.
“2. The Province incurred a cash overdraft in the General Fund of P168,048,269.87 as of Dec. 31, 2009, contrary to the provisions of Art. 454(c) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 7160.
“3. Cash advances to officers and employees amounting to P23,959,182.38 remained unliquidated at the end of the year, contrary to the provisions of Sec. 5.8 of COA Circular97-002, thereby raising doubts on whether the purpose of these cash advances have [sic] been served.
“4. Unserviceable properties amounting to P69,340,822.09 as reported by the Provincial General Services Office were not yet disposed of resulting in the overstatement of assets in the financial statements.
“5. Several notices of disallowance were issued for infrastructure projects implemented by the province during the period 2007-2009 with deficiencies amounting to P5,543,668.04.
“6. Various expenses charged to account Consultancy Services (793) related to 2009 World Wakepark Championship in the amount of P11,522,497.69, to Site Development and Full Architectural Design for Hunungan Resort in the amount of P1,080,000 and Proposed Commerical Development of Capitol Complex amounting to P663,000 were of doubtful legality, propriety and validity because of failure by the agency to adhere to prescribed regulations and policies on procurement and documentation.
“7. The amount of P132,504,639.29 was spent by the province for donations for programs and activities undertaken by the Provincial Social and Services Office (PSSO) without approved program/activity designs and established criteria, hence making the disbursements of doubtful validity and propriety.
“8. The Province paid P6,705,227.31 for security services without public bidding, contrary to the provisions of RA 9184, thereby raising doubts on the propriety and economy of this transaction.
“9. Power and Water Bills amounting to more than P14.4 million were not paid on time resulting in arrears and incurrence of penalty and surcharges, which is considered an unnecessary expenditure prohibited by Section 33 of Government Auditing Code of the Philippines (PD1445) on prevention of irregular, unnecessary, excessive and extravagant expenditures of government funds.
“10. Income and Receivable account increased significantly by P436,659,140.35 as of Dec. 31, 2009 due to recording of uncollected revenues for franchise tax, amusement tax, and tax on sand and gravel, thereby overstating Receivable and Income accounts, contrary to Section 19 (c) of the New Government Accounting System.
“11. Transfer of funds and several disbursements were made by the provincial government without evidence of audit action by the auditor, contrary to Circular 2009-002, thereby raising doubts on the regularity of these transactions.
“12. A number of vouchers for check disbursements, liquidation of cash advances, and other journals entry vouchers amounting to P44,012,398.47 were not submitted to the Office of the Auditor, thus prohibiting review and examination.
There are many other items cited by the COA but I have run out of space.
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