Suspended DPWH execs leave posts over lampposts scam
Cebu City (12 April) -- The Central Visayas regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the agency's eight other officials vacated their posts Wednesday after being slapped with a suspension order over their alleged participation in Cebu's lampposts scam.
The DPWH officials left their posts on the instruction of Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, who was implementing the Ombudsman's order, to prevent the officials from influencing an ongoing investigation.
The lampposts and streetlights were purchased for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cebu City and other cities in the Cebu province.
DPWH Central Visayas Regional Director Robert Lala, who faces a six-month preventive suspension with the eight other DPWH officials, turned over his office Wednesday noon to newly designated regional director Jerome de la Rosa.
Bonoan said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed de la Rosa, who used to be the assistant regional director of the DPWH National Capital Region.
Bonoan said the implementation of the order was delayed as the DPWH awaited the Commission on Elections' clearance for the suspension and the transfer of officials during the election period.
Comelec Resolution 7770 prohibits the transfer of officers or employees without written authority from the poll body.
"I have issued the suspension order after getting the clearance from the Comelec," Bonoan said.
However, he could not say whether Lala could return to his post after the six-month preventive suspension.
Bonoan said there was no definite time frame for Lala's return as Central Visayas regional director. "We'll see after six months," Bonoan said.
Aside from Lala, the other suspended officials were two assistant regional directors Gloria Dindin and Marlina Alvizo, maintenance division head Pureza Fernandez, maintenance division assistant head Cresencio Bagolor, regional legal officer Augustinito Hermoso, planning and design division chief Luis Galang, administrative division chief Restituto Diano and construction division assistant chief Buenaventura Pajo.
Bonoan said four officials from DPWH Manila would replace the other suspended officials in Cebu, but they had not arrived as of Wednesday.
One of them is engineer Nelson Doroy, chief of the design division of the Manila office. He would take over as chief of the planning and design division in Cebu, he said. The other replacements would come from the DPWH office in Cebu, Bonoan added. (PIA) [top]