The Office of the Ombudsman fired the acting president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and several other school employees, including a university vice president, after they were found guilty of grave misconduct arising from the purchase of a luxury van.
In a statement, the Ombudsman said PLM acting President Jose Roy III, PLM Vice-President for Finance and Planning Angelita Solis and university employees Cecilia Calma, Angeles Ramos, Eloisa Macalinao, Felix Aspiras and Albert Dela Cruz were dismissed from service after they were found to have illegally purchased a van worth
P1.1 million in 2006.
The Ombudsman noted in its decision that the van was purchased without public bidding as required by Philippine Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).
The respondents, in their defense, admitted that the purchase was made without the bidding but argued that the “decision to resort to direct contracting stemmed from the urgency of the end-user’s need.”
The Ombudsman rejected the defense arguments and said they “deliberately disregarded the requirements of R.A. 9184 to favor and give benefits to the dealer of Hyundai Starex van.”
Aside from the dismissal, Roy, et. al. were meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits. In the event that the dismissal can no longer be enforced, the same shall be converted into a fine equivalent to respondent’s one year salary.