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PIA Press Release

3 gov't regional execs sacked for graft

Quezon City (12 October) -- MALACAÑANG ordered the dismissal of three government regional executives and the suspension of a city schools superintendent on the recommendation of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC).

In a news conference at the Palace, PACG chair Constancia De Guzman said Kunesa Sekak, a regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, was found guilty of irregular transactions, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds committed in 2002.

Sekak, said De Guzman, was found to have disbursed vouchers worth millions of pesos without supporting documents.

Also ordered dismissed were Department Public Works and Highways-Cordillera Autonomous Region director Antonio Puruganan and his assistant director, Edilberto Carabbacan, for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Because he has retired, Puruganan will be stripped of retirement and other benefits.

De Guzman said Puruganan and Carabbacan "unlawfully" released P360,000 in public funds to a fictitious person for the properties traversed by the improvement of the Pico-Lamtang road.

Suspended without pay for three months was Toledo City schools division superintendent Dr. Jose Cabantan for his refusal to release the performance rating for the school year 2002 to 2003.

De Guzman said since she assumed office in 2004, they have investigated and dismissed nine appointed officials and suspended three others.

She said they are currently looking into 126 cases of corruption, 11 of which are up for administration adjudication within the year. These include cases against two Cabinet secretaries.

The PAGC chief said they would continue investigating presidential appointees facing graft cases despite what she said was pressure from various quarters and individuals to make them back off.

"They (some appointees) thought they are untouchable," she said. "We will not be swayed by pleas and we will not give special favors.”

"This is a warning to all. Don't attempt to talk to us because our policy is the more you talk to us and influence us, the more we will concentrate on your case," De Guzman said.

"If there is wrongdoing, someone has to pay,” she said. “They have long enjoyed (the benefits from) the wrongdoing they have done, so they should face the repercussions.” (PIA) [top]

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