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60-day suspension for 2 OPA engineers

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Two engineers assigned at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Negros Occidental were again placed under a 60-day preventive suspension for allegedly receiving “underspecified” grain dryers, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas Jr. disclosed yesterday.

To make matters worse, they moved for payment, even though it was underspecified, Nellas said. The preventive suspension of Engrs. Jimbo Garsula and German Abihay for grave misconduct, took effect Monday last week, according to the Provincial Legal Officer.

Nellas said that a show cause order was also issued against Engr. Armin Elias Ciocon, assigned at the Provincial Engineering Office.

He said Ciocon was not included in the preventive suspension since there are lesser chances of him tampering with evidence, as the files are with the OPA.

Garsula and Abihay, along with three other OPA employees, were also earlier placed under a 60-preventive suspension for grave misconduct, in connection with the alleged misuse of government property, following a drinking session, while on official travel in Victorias City on July 15, 2022.

Nellas said the underspecified grain dryer, which was procured in 2017, had some parts missing and delivery was made in 2022. While he could not recall the price of the purchased grain dryer, he said it costs millions of pesos. Considering that the case filed is grave misconduct, it follows the preventive suspension of 60 days, in order to protect the witnesses and evidence at hand from tampering, Nellas further said.

Garsula and Abihay had just returned to duty in October when the new 60-day preventive suspension was imposed by the PLO.*

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