Palace drops case vs mayor over ‘investment scam’

Mayor Ronnie Dadivas of Roxas City, Capiz

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The Office of the President (OP) dismissed the administrative case filed against Mayor Ronnie Dadivas of Roxas City, Capiz relative to the operations of an alleged investment scam in the city.

In a decision promulgated on Jan 27, 2022 but was received by Dadivas’ office on March 2, Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea adopted the recommendation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to dismiss the case filed by former Iloilo administrator Manuel Mejorada.

In a letter complaint dated May 12, 2021, Mejorada accused Dadivas of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty when the latter allegedly did not stop Chiyuto Creative Wealth Document Facilitation Services (CCWDFS) of Patrocenio “Don” Calvez Chiyuto from operating despite the lack of a valid business permit.

To recall, the Securities and Exchange Commission warned the public against investing in CCWDFS as it lacked the appropriate licenses from the commission. The SEC later cancelled CCWDFS’s registration for violating its rules.

CCWDFS was in hot water after failing to pay investors who plunked in their savings after it promised to double their money in either one, 30, or 45 days.

Apart from the complaint, Mejorada also asked the OP and DILG to preventively suspend Dadivas while the case is under investigation.

Dadivas denied Mejorada’s allegations saying that CCWDFS did apply for a business permit as an accounting firm in June 2020. He then ordered the Business Permits and Licensing Division to investigate the actual business of Chiyuto’s firm.

After finding that CCWDFS was not an accounting firm, Dadivas said he denied its application for business permit.

Dadivas said he also informed the police and the National Bureau of Investigation about CCWDFS’s lack of business permit. He also asked them to track down the firm’s operators and intensify the campaign against investment scams.

In a memorandum dated Nov 29, 2021, the DILG recommended the dismissal of the case saying that the complainant failed to present evidence to prove his allegations against Dadivas.

The OP agreed with the DILG saying that Mejorada failed to allege any specific act of Dadivas “constituting flagrant disregard of laws or established rules or failure to give proper attention to a task expected of him.”

“A review of the complaint shows only a description of the illegal investment scheme of CCWDFS and a mere averment that respondent Dadivas failed to ‘utter a single word about the scam’ and warn the public about said scheme,” the decision added.

The OP also noted that Dadivas did his job as mayor in determining the legality of CCWDFS’s operations and in cooperating with the police and the NBI that investigated Chiyuto’s business.

“Wherefore, premises considered, the letter-complaint dated 12 May 2021 filed by complainant Manuel P. Mejorada is hereby dismissed for lack of substantial evidence. The Motion for Preventive Suspension dated 24 August 2021 filed by complainant Mejorada is likewise denied,” the decision read.

In statement on Facebook, Dadivas hailed the decision exonerating him of the accusations. He also cited that the decision was released on Ash Wednesday.

“On Ash Wednesday, may this be a lesson to us that lies and deception will never win over truth,” Dadivas said.