Eastern Samar acting Gov. Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal is facing criminal and administrative complaints before the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas for falsification of an appropriation ordinance in 2018.
Also included in the charge sheet were acting Vice Governor Jonas Abuda, Sangguniang Panlalawigan secretary Franklin Robedizo and Department of Budget and Management-Region 8 Director Annabelle Echavez.
Eight SP members signed the nine-page complaint, accusing the four of falsification of an official document, dishonesty, grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a public official and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The complainants were provincial board members Celestino Cabato, Byron Suyot, Karen Alvarez, Annabelle Capito, Jaime Ty, Ma. Caridad Sison-Goteesan, Maximo Zacate and Aldwin Aklao.
They accused Picardal, Abuda and Robedizo of faking Appropriation Ordinance No.18-30 of 2018 or the provincial government’s proposed budget of P1.284 billion that did not have the approval of the board members.
The annual investment plan and budget ordinance were only “approved in principle” on Jan. 5, 2018 subject to the submission by the provincial development council of copies of amendments and supporting documents within three days.
The SP members said they only learned about the submission to the DBM two months later, prompting them to notify the agency in writing about procedural violations, and that they had been ignored.
“Acting Governor Picardal, Acting Vic Governor Abuda and Franklin Robedizo, knowing fully well that the approval of the 2018 Annual Budget... is anchored upon the compliance of conditions... issued the falsified Appropriation Ordinance Number 18-30, Series of 2018 without any condition thereby making it appear to have been duly approved without any condition,” the complaint read.
The complainants said Echavez was included for “taking advantage of her position” and acting “in collusion and conspiracy.”