Echiverri declines to comment on CA's suspension order

January 4, 2012 1:24 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 4 — Caloocan Mayor Enrico "Recom" Echiverri declined to comment on the Court of Appeals (CA) ruling upholding the six-month suspension order slapped on him and three other officials, adding that his camp is still yet to receive a copy of the ruling.

He added that his side will issue a statement after his legal team have scrutinized the CA ruling.

But Echiverri assures his constituents that Caloocan local government services will go on despite this order.

The CA, in a ruling penned by Associate Justices AJ Agenes Reyes Carpio, Stephen Cruz and acting chairperson Rebecca De Guia Salvador said, that they found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Ombudsman in coming up with a “final and executory” suspension order against Echiverri regarding the case involving the latter's failure to remit to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of city hall employees.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Vice Mayor Edgar Erice against Echiverri, City Treasurer Evelina Garma, City Budget Officer Jesusa Garcia and City Accountant Edna Centeno before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Erice alleged that from July 1997 to December 2002 and from January 2007 to Dec. 31, 2010, the contributions comprising the personal shares of the employees and the city government were not remitted to the GSIS.

The vice mayor said the workers’ GSIS premiums remained unpaid as of Dec. 31, 2010.

GSIS records showed that as of Dec. 31, 2010, the total obligation of the city government amounted to P343,814,739.85 including principal and interest.

Allegations were also raised that despite being informed of the unpaid GSIS obligations, the four city officials refused to act on the matter.

Due to the alleged inaction, Erice demanded the accused city officials to remit the personal shares of the employees amounting to P38,042,916.12. But the four accused failed to act on the request. (PNA)

DCT/PFN

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