Thursday, December 28, 2006

2 MGB execs slapped with graft charges

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce) – The Office of the Ombudsman in Davao has ordered former Mines and Geosciences Bureau director Glenn Marcelo Noble and a department head of the Bureau to answer a graft complaint filed against them.

Abner Fortaleza and Eugenio Sepulveda filed a complaint against Noble and Paul Salise before the 20th branch of the Regional Trial Court here last Oct. 25.

But earlier, they also filed a complaint against the two officials before the ombudsman.

In a three-page order dated Nov. 6, a copy of which was furnished this paper, ombudsman Maria Corazon Arancon directed Noble and Salise to submit their answer.

Arancon also directed Sepulveda and Fortaleza to submit a certificate of “non-forum shopping.”

Noble is now assigned at MGB Central Office in Manila while Salise is the chief of the Mining Environment and Safety Division of MGB-10.

Cagayan de Oro Journal tried to contact Noble and Salise for comment but to no avail.

Noble and Salise were accused of obtaining two sets of round-trip plane tickets each when they attended a conference in Baguio in November 2002. Public funds were used in buying the first sets of tickets since it was supposedly an official trip. But here’s the catch: a private firm based in Iligan City allegedly paid for the other set of tickets, supposedly for the same purpose.

Fortaleza and Sepulveda said it was unethical and a violation of law against graft.

The complainants also accused the officials of failing to account for solicitations made for a seminar in November 2002.

They alleged that some 90 people attended the seminar and that participants supposedly paid P1,500 each.
They called on the environment department to suspend Noble and Salise.


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