The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed seven officials and employees from the Bureau of Customs for neglect of duty, grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and serious dishonesty.
In separate decisions, the Ombudsman dismissed deputy collector for operations Ramon Hernandez, Customs operations officer V Lomonto Macabando, Customs operations officer III Vanzandt Remonde, special police assistant chief Jaybee Raul Cometa, Customs security guard II Renly Tiñana, special agent I Oscar Farin and Customs operations officer III Vicente Gamboa, and meted the penalty of dismissal from service with all its accessory penalties under the 2017 Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.
On the other hand, Customs operations officer IV Dolores Domingo was found guilty of gross insubordination and handed down the penalty of suspension from office for one year without pay. Ombudsman Samuel Martires approved and signed the orders last Aug. 15.
Hernandez was liable for three counts of gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct over the irregular transshipment of 539 cargo containers from the Manila International Container Port to the Port of Batangas, and the loss of 230 from that figure when he was then the deputy collector for operations of the MICP.
The Ombudsman found Macabando guilty of grave misconduct for attempting to smuggle into the country a clutch bag filled with pieces of jewelry without any receipt or invoice, and for his failure to declare the items in May 2018 in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Remonde was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and serious dishonesty for an August 2018 shipment of supposed packages of refractory mortary.
Upon examination, the shipment was found to contain sacks of sugar.
The Ombudsman found Cometa guilty of gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for his failure to properly encode a shipment filled with 276 kilos of shabu mixed with concealed bags of plastic resin.
Cometa labeled the shipmen as “YELLOW,” and not “RED” selectivity status.
Tiñana was found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service after he was discovered to have deposited huge amounts of money derived from an “illicit source” to different accounts with the Philippine National Bank.
Also found guilty of gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service was Farin over his “indifference” to the transfer of 23,015 sacks smuggled rice from Malaysia out of the Ben Go wharf from Sept. 27 to 28, 2018.
Moreover, the administrative rap against Farin emanated over his failure to verify if the trucks that were authorized by the Bureau of Customs, and that he did not determine the ultimate destinations of rice.
Gamboa was found guilty of grave misconduct when he took P3,000 from one Kathy Kimberly Gamboa for a parcel addressed to her on Feb. 28, 2018.
He forged her signature in the statement of receipt of duties collected on informal entry and failed to immediately issue an official receipt.
The Ombudsman suspended Domingo for one year without pay after being found guilty of gross insubordination for refusal to receive and comply with the order reassigning her to the Port of Cagayan de Oro on December 2016.