Sep 092014

The Office of the Ombudsman has meted the penalty of dismissal on Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Cecilia Rachel “Coco” Quisumbing after she was found guilty of violating the country’s code of conduct and ethical standards for government officials and employees.

In a 23-page resolution signed by prosecutor Jasmine Ann B. Gapatan and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on August 28, the Ombudsman also recommended the filing of a charge for direct bribery against Quisumbing before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan. 

“[Quisumbing is] found guilty of violation of Section Seven of RA 6713 and grave misconduct and meted the penalty of dismissal from the service, including all its accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the government service,” the resolution said. 

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates provided GMA News Online with a copy of the Ombudsman’s resolution.

The charges stemmed from a complaint filed by Quisumbing’s former staff member Regina Eugenio. Eugenio alleged that Quisimbing had her promoted but kept the additional salary intended for her new salary grade, an offense that the Ombudsman deemed punishable by dismissal.

“For her act of soliciting and receiving money—in this case Eugenio’s Salary differential—in the course of her official duties, this Office finds probable cause to indict respondent for Direct Bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code,” the decision said.

Quisumbing has claimed that all charges against her were false.

She said there were “disgruntled dismissed staff members who had shown propensity for dishonesty, unwillingness to follow standard and reasonable procedure, resentment for being corrected for misbehavior, insubordination and non-performance of their jobs.” 

Quisumbing admitted that she sometimes lost her temper with her staff and that her treatment of them was “not as respectful as it should be.” She, however, said that she “always apologized.”

PAHRA lauded the Ombudsman’s decision.

“The findings highlighted elements of corruption and Quisumbing’s obvious intent to be recipient of  complainant Eugenio’s salary differential by taking advantage of her functions and authority as CHR Commissioner,” Rose Trajano, PAHRA Secretary General said. —NB, GMA News

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