Ombudsman dismisses NCIP officer
DEXTER A. SEE
The Manila Times
BAGUIO CITY: The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of the incumbent regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region 3 (Central Luzon), Roland Calde, after finding substantial evidence to hold him guilty of grave misconduct. The cases stemmed from two separate complaints filed by Roger Sinot, who claimed that he is the duly selected Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) for Baguio City. Thus, he requested the NCIP Baguio Service Center (BSC) for the issuance of a certificate of affirmation in his favor. Calde has been found to discriminate against Sinot by ignoring requests that he be recognized. In a 14-page consolidated decision approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires, Calde is being dismissed from the service as the regional director of NCIP-CAR along with the forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the government service. The Ombudsman’s decision said the penalty of dismissal can no longer be enforced because of Calde’s separation from the service, the penalty shall be converted into a fine equivalent to his salary for one year, payable to the Office of the Ombudsman, and may be deducted from his retirement benefits, accrued leave credits or any receivables from his office. The accessory penalties attached to the principal penalty of dismissal shall be imposed. The decision directed the Chairman of the NCIP under the Office of the President to implement the decision immediately upon receipt. On the other hand, the complaint against Abilene Cirilo was dismissed for lack of substantial evidence. The case stemmed from a request received by NCIP-CAR through several letters and resolutions from the various IPs in the city expressing their desire to have an IPMR in the city council. Calde said on Nov. 15, 2016, his office received an appeal protest alleging several irregularities in the selection of Sinot as the IPMR of the city aside from receiving a letter dated Jan. 9, 2017, from Joseph Sacley, stating that Sinot is not qualified to sit as IPMR in the city because he is not a resident of Baguio and he voted in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya during the May 2016 elections. A petition was also filed at Calde’s office alleging that Sinot was convicted of theft by the Regional Trial Court of Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. Thus, Calde created a regional review body for Baguio IPMR whose recommendation was based on technicalities that will put an end to the said controversy. When the findings and recommendations of the review body were in favor of Sinot, the Ombudsman’s findings pointed out that Calde once again disregarded the resolution and order and remanded the protest to the BSC. When the BSC confirmed the regularity and validity of the selection process, Calde again issued another memorandum creating a body headed by Cirilo to look into the protest on Sinot’s selection as IPMR before coming up with a decision against Sinot’s confirmation in the IPMR.