DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines—A former local chief executive of Lupon town in Davao Oriental was penalized for “simple neglect of duty,” the Ombudsman said on Thursday, October 12.
The Ombudsman said that Domingo Lim was ordered one-month suspension after he refused to implement an Ombudsman decision dated September 17, ordering the dismissal of several municipal employees Zaldy Cole, Jonel Delmonte, Renato Lanos, Rhulan Patiño Sr., Romeo Rosauro, and Sani Hanani.
But since Lim has been separated from government service, the Ombudsman said “the penalty will be converted to a fine in the amount of his one month’s salary.”
In 2015, Lim was reminded twice to implement the order, the Ombudsman said, noting the decision was “immediate and executory” and he was warned that refusal to implement such would be meted out with a “dismissal order.”
In his defense, the former Lupon town mayor argued that he merely exercised “prudence in seeking the legal opinion of Ombudsman-Mindanao” because he is not learned in the law.
But the Ombudsman pointed out that Lim’s appeal “shall not stop the decision from being executory and the implementation of the decision follows as a matter of course.”
“The disciplinary authority of the Office of the Ombudsman does not end with a recommendation to punish, but goes further as to directly impose the appropriate sanctions on the erring public officials and employees, like removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure or criminal prosecution. The imposition of administrative sanctions is not merely advisory or recommendatory but mandatory,” a part of the decision reads.
Simple Neglect of Duty is defined as “the failure to give proper attention to a task expected of an employee resulting from either carelessness or indifference.”(davaotoday.com)