Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Gov Mercado to appeal Ombudsman’s dismissal order

Southern Leyte Governor Damian G. Mercado will file a motion for reconsideration with the Office of the Ombudsman which ruled on Thursday to dismiss him from service.

Mercado in a brief mobile phone interview with PNA Friday morning said he has yet to receive his copy from the Ombudsman Office.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered Mercado’s dismissal for selling his old vehicle to the city government. Mercado was charged for graft and faces the prospect of being dismissed from service and perpetual disqualification to hold any public positions.

Ombudsman found Mercado guilty of grave misconduct and faces charges for graft and violation of the Government Reform Procurement Act before the Sandiganbayan.

In 2007, Mercado, then mayor of Maasin, ordered the purchase of three reconditioned vehicles for P2.3 million.

But based on the investigation conducted by the anti-graft court, it was discovered that one of the vehicles procured, a Toyota Grandia, was owned by tMercado.

Also purchased were a Mitsubishi Pajero and an Isuzu Wizard which were awarded to Kojac Auto Repair Shop.

Also dismissed by the Ombudsman were Bids and Awards committee (BAC) chairman Crispin Arong, Jr., BAC vice-chairperson Feorillo Demeterio, Jr.; BAC members Anecito Narit, Benjase Lumen and Consuelo Ladrera; and supplier Baltazar Avila, Sr. of Kojac Auto Repair Shop and Auto Supply.

Mercado has another pending case with the Office of the Ombudsman for falsification of public documents. He is set to face trial before the Sandiganbayan after the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge him with Falsification of Public Documents under Article 171 (4) of the revised Penal Code. His lawyers filed Motion for Reconsideration in this case last May 2017.

Mercado, 63, started his political career as a chairman of Barangay Abgao in 1987, one of the most populous villages in Maasin City 1987. Then he became the mayor of Maasin when it was still a municipality, from 1998 until 2000 and as city mayor from 2000 to 2007.

He was elected as governor in 2007 until 2013. Then became the congressman of the lone district of Southern Leyte from 2013-2016. He ran for the said post and won as governor in the 2016 elections.

Related story:
Southern Leyte Gov ordered dismissed over purchase of second hand cars

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