OPA exec, 4 others suspended for misuse of capitol vehicle

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – A division chief and four other personnel of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in Negros Occidental were ordered suspended for 60 days as an offshoot of a complaint filed against them.

Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas Jr. said the five personnel of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist were placed under a 60-day preventive suspension, as approved by Gov. Eugenio Jose, for grave misconduct for alleged misuse of a government vehicle.

Nellas said that the suspension order, dated August 18, was already received by the five respondents – Engrs. Jimbo Garsula, Ramelo Letran, German Abihay and Rezin Palacios, and Maria Luisa Abaño on Aug. 23.

He also said that within three days, upon the receipt of the formal charge against the respondents, the five may either submit a position paper to defend themselves or engage in a full-blown investigative hearing.

The five OPA personnel allegedly engaged in a drinking session while on official travel in Victorias City last month.

The complainant, a Capitol cab driver, said that he waited for the respondents until 8 p.m. on July 15.

He later discovered that the respondents were on a drinking spree at a restaurant.

Nellas said that Gov. Lacson has agreed with their findings.

The governor also signed the formal charges for grave misconduct filed against the five OPA employees.

But Garsula faces another complaint for verbally maltreating the complainant.

Nellas said the 60-day preventive suspension was issued against the respondents to prevent them from interfering in the probe and protect the evidence and witnesses.