Pampanga, Mabalacat

Town engineer faces ouster raps By Rhay G. Navales MABALACAT -- Can an official of government issue receipts bearing identical numbers to two different persons or firms attesting acceptance of sums of money? Or should Mabalacat Municipal Engineer Ramil Canlapan, acting as this town's Building Official, accept payments from two different companies issuing two different receipts bearing just one and the same number - O. R. No. 3090132? Seven complainants - Rodrigo D. De Leon, Alan G. Del Puerto, Gina L. Benedicto, Marriza D. De Mesa, Eduardito T.Fernandez, Christian C. Catap, and Angela G. Salvador said Canlapan violated Section 46 of Book V and Section 23 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order 292, which "necessitated our call for Engr. Canlapan to resign as Municipal Engineer of our beloved town." The complainants, all members of Canlapan's official staff, however, did not say whether or not they would file graft and corruption charges against Canlapan. They also claimed that on March 3, 2003 they sent an open letter to Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales complaining about the alleged irregularity but that the mayor merely suspended Canlapan as a building official and transferred him to another office. This, was according to a complaint copy, alleging that Canlapan last Dec. 13, 2002, issued to Jenra Commercial Center of Dau, payment for a building permit (B.P. No. 02-12203) amounting P39, 779.70 through O. R. No. 3090132. Two weeks later, last Dec. 27, 2002, Canlapan issued to Globe Telecom, Inc., for its fiber optic cable project building permit (B.P. No. 02 - 12211) amounting P22,280.00 again under the same O.R. No. (Official receipt number). The complainant also revealed that the official receipts Canlapan issued to Puregold Supermarket with O.R. No. 3090150 amounting to P154,956.65 on July 3, 2002 and Digital Telecom with O. R. No. 3090143 amounting to P32,369.60 on February 20, 2003, are not chronological in order. The complainants, in a separate complaint letter sent to Vice Mayor Prospero T. Lagman on March 17, 2003, aired what they claimed their dissatisfaction with Morales' action. "In our opinion, the mayor's move falls short of what is expected LOCAL NEWS BUSINESS OPINION SPORTS LIFESTYLE FEATURE Page Sun.Star Pampanga - Town engineer faces ouster raps 1 of 3 3/30/2009 since despite the gravity of the offense and compelling evidences presented, no preventive suspension has been meted out to the municipal engineer to date," the employees stated. Canlapan, the complainants alleged, "is a picture of unbridled greed and corruption." "For years now, he (Canlapan) has been using his position to steal public funds, scarce resources that should have benefited the public we serve," they also claimed. According to them, Canlapan's assistance to businessmen in the processing of their building requirement has also deprived the municipality of its income from its regulatory function because official receipts being issued for the structures' business permits do not originate from the municipal treasurer's office. "We believe that the money intended for these permits have simply been pocketed by Engr. Canlapan. And these are not loose change either, these would have been enough to pay for the salaries of hundreds of our co-workers in government," the complainants lamented. The three-point complaint of said employees include dishonesty/falsification of official documents, neglect of duty/misconduct, and frequent unauthorized absences from duty during regular office hours. The complainants are requesting the Municipal Council to conduct and inquiry regarding the matter. "We would like to seek your help and request the City Council to conduct an inquiry into this case the soonest possible time so as to preclude injustice and preserve the dignity of public service, the complainants told Lagman." They also said that they are more than willing to present evidences to support their charges and vowed to declare under oath their complaint if needed. "These are just but a few of his (Canlapan's) misdeeds in office which are in violation of Section 46 of Book V and Section 23 of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order 292 and necessitated our call for Engr. Canlapan to resign as municipal engineer of our beloved town," the complainant stated. (May 18, 2003 issue)