DPWH-5 lawyer Atty. Rodulfo suspended for six months by Ombudsman

QUEZON CITY 12/6/17 (Bicol Standard) — A penalty of six months suspension without pay has been slapped by the Ombudsman against Oliver Todoc Rodulfo based on its decision received by the Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways dated November 16, 2017.

In said letter by the Ombudsman, which was signed by Gerard A. Mosquera, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Rodulfo is ordered suspended for six months without pay, as a result of the Administrative Complaint signed by Reynaldo G. Tagudando, who served as the DPWH Regional Director of Bicol.

He (Rodulfo) was administratively charged for Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Official.

The Ombudsman’s decision stemmed from the Complaint filed by Tagudando, who in order to assure the prompt attendance of all employees issued a memorandum to include Atty. Rodulfo to use the Electronic Time Card, instead of the Daily Time Record (DTR).

Instead of simply complying with the said directive, Rodulfo prepared and issued a Reply-Memorandum, which contained “libellous, indecent, arrogant, insubordinate, defiant, unprofessional and malicious insinuations and accusations,” which charges the complainant DPWH Regional Director as “incompetent and poor in management.”

“You became a director because of politics,” Rodulfo added in his memorandum in answer to Tagudando’s directive to require him to use the Electronic Time Card via biometric machine.

Furthermore, the complainant stressed that in the blatant attempt of the respondent to embarrass and defame him, he even furnished copies of his reply to the DPWH Secretary, Chief Administrative Officer and Financial Management Division, Civil Service Commission, Presidential Action Centre and Office of the President.

The respondent, in his Counter-Affidavit, denied that his memoranda were libellous and slanderous as they are privileged communications and were made without malice or intent to destroy the integrity and reputation of complainant.

Meanwhile, Rodulfo was found guilty of two offenses with the same penalty of suspension of one (1) month and one (1) to six (6) months. One of his offenses will be considered as an aggravating circumstance. There being an aggravating circumstance with no mitigating circumstance, the maximum penalty for these offenses, which is six (6) months suspension from office without pay, should be imposed, the Ombudsman said.

The charges of Grace Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service must fail.

Meanwhile, reports reaching the Bicol Standard say that Rodulfo, on his own, had volunteered to the Ombudsman to serve the six-month suspension without pay.

As of this writing, it could not yet be ascertained if the Ombudsman has taken cognizance and approved of his voluntary service of the suspension without pay penalty.

Based on the letter signed by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, Gerard A. Mosquera, the Secretary of the DPWH has been directed to cause the issuance of an order immediately suspending the respondent, Rodulfo. This letter was only received last November 26.

The Ombudsman also said that within ten (10) days after receipt of the letter, the Office must be informed of the date when the suspension will take effect and will end.

Furthermore, for the Office of the DPWH Secretary is directed to submit within ten days a report after compliance of the suspension order.

Due to abovementioned order from the Ombudsman, it is not yet clear if the respondent’s voluntary service of the administrative suspension, which allegedly commenced last November 16, is proper.

Finally, the Ombudsman Act of 1989 is immediately executory and may not be interrupted by any motion, appeal, or petition that may be filed by the respondent.