Ombudsman fines NIA exec for ignoring letter
The Office of the Ombudsman has found National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region 12 Regional Manager Ali Satol guilty of violation of Section 5(a) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and Simple Neglect of Duty. Satol was ordered to pay a fine equivalent to his one month salary.
Respondent’s administrative liability stemmed from his failure to promptly reply to the 20 June 2016 letter of complainant Abdullatip Asim regarding just compensation claims on a property that was appropriated as a main canal by the NIA Region 12. Records show that Satol received the letter on 23 June 2016.
Investigation uncovered that “there was no written report whatsoever on the adverse findings which surfaced during the field validation and the corresponding actions taken on the matter.”
The Ombudsman stated that, “respondent was duty-bound to comply with Section 5(a) of R.A. No. 6713. The provision must be faithfully observed. It is founded on the principle in government service that the public must be served with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. Respondent failed to live up to this norm when he did not respond to complainant’s request.”
According to the Ombudsman, the Decision is final, executory and unappealable. The Administrator of the NIA was tasked to immediately implement the penalty imposed on Satol.
Under Section 5(a) of R.A. No. 6713, public officials are required to respond to letters, telegrams, or other means of communication sent by the public within 15 working days from receipt, indicating the action taken on the request.
Meantime, Simple Neglect of Duty refers to the failure of an official to give proper attention to a task expected, signifying a disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference.