Bansalan water district officials suspended

THE OMBUDSMAN has suspended for six months the three top ranking officials of Bansalan Water District (BWD) in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, for negligence.

Suspended without pay are BWD’s board chair Bienvenido Pedroso, board vice chair Farcolina Badilles and board member Victoria Gatmaitan.

They were found liable for simple neglect of duty and for violating Sec. 5(d) of the Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).

Paul Arches, the terminated BWD general manager, filed the case. He claimed the respondents refused to reinstate him as the general manager.

The respondents, in their defense, claimed they could no longer reinstate Arches due to his compulsory retirement.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Ma. Faith Llanto-Presbitero, in her resolution, said the respondents committed simple neglect of duty because they failed to give due attention to the payment of the complainants’s back salaries and other benefits, thereby delaying the execution of the decision by Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Presbitero said that delaying the payment of employees’ salaries and benefits transgresses the principle of social justice, and the rule that workers’ benefits with the least inconvenience.

She cited a Supreme Court ruling that “Under the policy of social justice, the law bends over backwards to accommodate the interests of the working class on the humane justification that those with less privilege in life should have more in law. Rightly, we have stressed that social justice legislation, to be truly meaningful and rewarding to our workers, must not be hampered in its application by long-winded arbitration and litigation.”

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