Cebu mayor faces graft raps for nepotism

ANOTHER member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) has been charged in the antigraft court Sandiganbayan.

Incumbent Mayor Teresito Marinas of Barili, Cebu province, has been indicted in the Sandiganbayan for nepotism involving his designation of his brother as human resource office head of the municipal government.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the criminal case against LP member Marinas, alleging that the mayor violated Executive Order No. 292, also known as the Administrative Code of 1987, when he appointed his brother Aniceto to the post in 2007.

In indicting Marinas, the Ombudsman said the Local Government Code of 1992 clearly states that individuals are barred from being designated "in the career service of the local government if they are related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to the appointing or recommending authority."

"[Marinas]… does not deny issuing the subject memorandum order in favour of his brother Aniceto," the Ombudsman said.

It said the mayor used the appointment order for his brother as "basis for interposing his argument of 'special assignment' and justifying it further by the lack of qualified candidates for the position and Aniceto's previous experience" as head of the human resource department.

In denying the charges, Marinas claimed that it was actually his predecessor, the late Mayor Robert Alquizola, who named Aniceto to the position as a "special assignment with no income" in March 2005.

But the Ombudsman ruled that there was probable cause to prosecute Marinas for violating the law that prohibits "all appointments… made in favour of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office, or of the persons exercising supervision over him."

The case, which was filed by a certain Kim Carmela Veloso in October 2010, has been raffled off to the antigraft court's Third Division.