BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Provincial Legal Officer Alberto Nellas Jr. said yesterday that the retirement of lawyer Japhet Masculino from government service will not stop the administrative proceedings following the issuance of three show-cause orders to him.
Masculino retired from government service on June 30. He was replaced temporarily by Dina Gensola as acting head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture, as announced by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, pending the appointment of a permanent head.
The PLO issued three show-cause orders against Masculino, in connection with the unpaid catering services, grain dryers, and 23 uncompleted irrigation projects, from 2014 to 2017.
Nellas said that Masculino already submitted his answers to the two show-cause orders issued against him, but asked for an extension in the submission of his explanations to the third order issued to him on June 28.
Lacson had approved the optional retirement of Masculino, 62, who had rendered 39 years of service to the government.
Masculino earlier said that he will pay the P1 million unpaid catering services, from his retirement benefits.
“As far as we are concerned, payment of monetary debt does not settle an administrative liability,” Nellas said. “We always work on the premise that public service is a public trust.”
He said that they are now finalizing their findings on the unpaid catering services issue, for submission to Lacson. But Nellas refused to divulge their investigation results on the grain dryers issue.
Masculino can still process his retirement papers, Nellas said since the issuance of needed clearances will only stop if there is a formal charge against him for administrative cases.
Aside from Masculino, Nellas said there are two other persons issued show-cause orders, although he did not identify them, in relation to the uncompleted irrigation projects.*