Ombudsman dismisses Malvar town mayor

Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2017 06:26 PM

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of the mayor of Malvar, Batangas due to an alleged anomalous procurement of a lot owned by her children. 

In a decision dated April 18 rendered by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Sep. 8, Mayor Cristeta Reyes was found guilty of grave misconduct. 

She was ordered dismissed and meted accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, bar from taking the civil service examination, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from government service. 

Also found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service and ordered suspended for 9 months were Malvar Municipal Budget Officer Jeanette Fruelda and Municipal Treasurer Yolanda Cabiscuelas.

The case against Reyes stemmed from her approval to purchase a lot allegedly owned by her children for the construction of the Santiago National High School in Malvar town, an act prohibited under government procurement laws. 

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Batangas Provincial Director Adelma Mauleon on Wednesday served a copy of the Ombudsman resolution to the Mayor. 

Brian Ballon, local government operations officer of the DILG's regional office in CALABARZON, said the Ombudsman's decision is final and executory. Still, the respondent may file a motion for reconsideration or question the decision before the Court of Appeals.

“We are just waiting for the official report from the Provincial Director but once confirmed that it is legally served, Vice Mayor Alberto Lat will be issued a memo for him to start acting as Mayor of Malvar,” he said. 

In her defense, Reyes said: "We filed our motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman kaya't inaasahan kong pag-aaralan nilang mabuti ang inihain ko na MR dahil wala ako talagang ginawang mali. Ang nakinabang ay ang Malvar at hindi ako o ang [aking] pamilya."