‘Snubbed’ by Capitol, mayor goes to Ombud

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MEDELLIN Mayor Ricardo Ramirez sought the assistance of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas so the Provincial Government would be compelled to give him a detailed explanation on how relief goods were distributed to Yolanda survivors in his town.

In his letter to Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol dated Jan. 6, 2014, Ramirez said that last Nov. 25, he wrote a letter to Evelyn Sinajon, the provincial social welfare and development officer, seeking clarification on the distribution of relief goods in Medellin.

Citing newspaper reports, he said that Capitol officials claimed that some 27,000 family food packs were distributed to his constituents.


However, Ramirez said their records showed that only 12,000 food packs reached the barangays of Medellin as shown in the requisition and issue slip.

“Despite more than one month of waiting, the undersigned never received any reply from Ms. Sinajon,” he told Apostol.

Section 5 (a) of Republic Act 6713 or the Act Establishing a Code Of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials And Employees requires public officials to respond to letters, telegrams or other means of communications sent by the public within 15 working days from receipt. The reply must contain the action taken on the request. 

“In this regard, the undersigned is seeking your assistance with regards to our query as to the recipients of the difference between the 27,000 plus food packs they claimed to have given us and the actual food packs received totaling only 12,000 plus,” the mayor said in his letter to the anti-graft office.

Last Nov. 24, Ramirez asked Gov. Hilario Davide III to resign after he learned that the Capitol did not follow standard procedures in the distribution of relief assistance.

The mayor said he will file a case against the governor and other officials involved before the Office of the Ombudsman so the distribution of relief goods can be investigated.

According to Ramirez, the number of food packs and tarpaulins that were delivered to the Municipal Hall does not correspond to the amount that Capitol officials divulged to the media.

Davide could not be reached for comment as of press time, but in an earlier interview, he said that relief operations were done in a transparent and judicious manner.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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