Ex-Cebu City councilor uses public funds to pay girlfriend's cook
MANILA, Philippines – Michael Abellana would come to Cebu City Hall every 5 am to clock in for work as administrative aide to a councilor. He didn't do anything related to governance, however, because he instead cooked at a restaurant owned by his boss' girlfriend.
For making Abellana moonlight as a cook, on taxpayers' account, former Councilor Gerardo Carillo is banned from holding public office, with all his retirement benefits forfeited.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said in a statement on Thursday, July 27, that Carillo is dismissed after being found guilty of serious dishonesty.
Carillo also has to pay a fine "equivalent to his salary for one year."
Abellana turned out to have been working as cook in Baryo Grille restaurant – owned by Carillo's girlfriend – from July 2013 to December 2014.
"The complainant revealed that he would just register his attendance in the biometrics at 5 am and then proceed to Baryo Grille to cook. He would go back to the office at 11 am only to register his timeout," the Ombudsman's statement said.
Carillo defended this, saying Abellana worked at Baryo Grille from 8 pm to 6 am only – the restaurant's operating hours – and therefore it could not have disrupted his office work.
"The Ombudsman found, however, that seven witnesses, all restaurant employees, testified that the establishment operated 24 hours daily. Witnesses also testified that they saw Abellana work at the Baryo Grille all morning on working days," the statement said.
Adding to the weight of the offense is that Abellana was not paid separately as a cook, therefore it was the local government who paid him to work in the restaurant.
"The testimonies establish the lie committed by the respondent and this lie was further strengthened by his signature in Abellana's monthly Daily Time Record," the Ombudsman added. – Rappler.com