BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas, Jr. reported yesterday the dismissal from service of Assistant Provincial Administrator Ma. Mina Pellejo for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty, and the preventive suspension for 60 days of Provincial Human Resources Officer-in-Charge Felomina Gozon and Daidie Lopez, secretariat of the Provincial Selection Committee.
Nellas said that the dismissal of Pellejo, which was approved by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, was related to her functions as former head of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP), for mishandling ofthe budgetthat involves a large amount.
The dismissal order, which took effect February 24, was already served, he added.
Pellejo, in a statement, maintained that there was nothing irregular or unlawful in the way NOCHP was implemented.
While her counsel has not received her copy of the decision, Pellejo said “At this time, I can say that the decision is not surprising since the administrative proceeding was obviously conducted to just give a semblance of due process.”
“I am very confident to say that the evidence that was presented against me is very weak, and this can be supported by the records of the case,” she added.
“I still have remedies under the law and I now look forward for my case to be reviewed by an unbiased authority,” Pellejo claimed.
Nellas said that the penalty of dismissal from service would also mean forfeiture of her benefits. But he added that Pellejo can still appeal the decision of the provincial government of Negros Occidental to the Civil Service Commission.
On the other hand, he said that preventive suspension of Gozon and Lopez stemmed from cases filed against them for falsification of official documents and dishonesty.
This was due to unauthorized alteration of documents, Nellas said.
Gozon is a member of the Selection Committee that involves in screening, hiring and promotion of Capitol workers, where Lopez served as the secretariat.
Nellas also said that hearing of complaints filed against former Provincial Budget Officer Jose Percival Salado, former Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, Ellen Jalandoni, former resort manager of Mambukal Mountain Resort and former Human Resource Management Office head Atty. Annabelle Palic are still ongoing.
Asked if there is an ongoing cleansing at the Provincial Capitol, Nellas denied it, stressing “we just want everyone to perform accordingly to their functions.”
“This is just to instill discipline among the work force. We do not tolerate any irregularities,” he further stressed.*