Group transfers graft complaints vs BCDA exec from PACC to Ombudsman

 

PAMPANGA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Citing alleged “inaction”, the Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) has withdrawn from the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) the graft complaints it filed against a Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) official and transferred the complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The silence and inaction on the part of PACC from the day I filed my complaint on September 10, 2019 made me decide to withdraw the complaint. The CCW decided to directly file the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman being the ultimate body that will decide whether or not cases shall be filed in court,” lawyer Raymund Palad, CCW counsel, said in a statement to the media on Saturday, October 5.

The complaints against BCDA executive vice president Aileen Zosa were filed at the Office of the Ombudsman by CCW president Diego Magpantay Jr on Thursday, October 3.

In a statement to the media, Magpantay also expressed concern over the Civil Service Commission (CSC)’s supposed investigation into Zosa’s position.

“It’s been four months now but we have not been informed about the result of CSC investigation. Two agencies seemed to have acted slowly on CCW’s vigilant fight against corruption. This does not speak well of the Duterte administration’s thrust for honesty in government,” he said.

In a memorandum dated June 25, 2019, CSC-National Capital Region Director IV Judith Dongallo-Chicano referred CCW’s request for investigation to CSC Field Office Director II Imelda Banzon.

The anti-crime group claims Zosa violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees and for alleged grave misconduct, dishonesty and grave abuse of authority.

The group attached annexes to its Ombudsman complaint, including a copy of Zosa’s appointment letter as BCDA executive vice president signed by then BCDA president Narciso Abaya on February 1, 2010 with annual compensation rate of P2,815,488. Her appointment letter was certified by then Civil Service Commission (CSC) chairman Francisco Duque III.

The CCW said no appointment paper was issued to Zosa since the BCDA restructuring that resulted to the abolition of her position in February 2016 by virtue of Office Order No. 003, series of 2016 issued by then BCDA president Arnel Paciano Casanova.

Earlier, the BCDA described as “baseless” the complaints filed by the anti-crime group at the PACC.

“The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has yet to receive the alleged complaint by Citizens Crime Watch against BCDA Executive Vice President Aileen Zosa. The allegations are baseless  because the position of Ms. Zosa as Executive Vice President is approved by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).  Her position was never abolished as the BCDA Restructuring Plan was never fully implemented,” the BCDA said in its official statement sent through email.

“Her appointment has been duly approved and validated by the Civil Service Commission. Under Civil Service rules and regulations, an appointment shall remain effective until disapproved/invalidated by the CSC,” it added. 

The PACC refuted Palad’s allegation about the commission’s alleged inaction on the CCW’s complaints. 

In a letter to Rappler dated October 30, PACC Executive Director Eduardo Bringas said Palad filed the complaint-affidavit with the commission in his personal capacity and as counsel of CCW on September 10.

“After initial evaluation, we sent him an Acknowledgement Letter on 18 September 2019 through the Malacanang Records Office. In the said letter, we relayed that their Complaint-Affidavit is being acted upon by the Commission in accordance with our Rules of Procedure. On 1 October 2019, or merely twenty (20) days from filing, Atty. Palad filed a Notice of Withdrawal of Complaint-Affidavit,” Bringas said.

Citing PACC Case No. 0003-2018, the commission said Palad's previous complaint which he filed on September 27, 2018 was acted upon and completed by the PACC on January 29 this year or a period of 4 months from the time of filing.

“With the foregoing, Atty. Palad cannot claim that PACC is silent or inefficient since we were actually processing the subject Complaint-Affidavit when Atty. Palad formally withdrew the same while his previous complaint was completely acted upon by the PACC,” lawyer Bringas said. – Rappler.com