TABOGON Mayor Zigfred Duterte has been charged before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas for abusing power and using public funds for personal use.
The complainant is Regie Ornopia, who said he was accepting salary from the government, but he was used by Duterte in the mayor’s personal affairs.
Ornopia said he was hired in 2014 by the Tabogon Municipal Hall to serve as a driver for the local chief executive.
Ornopia said his duties did not stop as Duterte’s driver. Ornopia said the mayor made him drive the latter’s personal dump truck and carry out the limestone hauling. Duterte is reportedly engaged in a limestone quarry.
To avoid paying for refueling, the dump trucks owned by Duterte often refueled at MHDA gasoline station in Barangay Pio, Tabogon. The Municipal Government contracted the gasoline station to serve as refueler of government-owned vehicles on a credit basis.
To escape scrutiny, Ornopia said the gas vouchers were written with the license plate of government-owned dump trucks that were not in use even if Duterte’s dump trucks were the ones that had the refuel.
Ornopia further said that he often drove the mayor’s children from the Duterte residence in Barangay Lamac, Consolacion, Cebu to their schools, and he also served as a driver of the mayor’s wife for her personal transactions.
Ornopia has resigned after he was accused by the mayor of selling limestone.
In a separate interview, Duterte said Ornopia was indeed his driver, but he denied the latter’s allegations.
The mayor said he is engaged in the hauling business. He said he has receipts to prove that his dump trucks refueled in a different gasoline station.
Duterte said his children are living in Cebu City, belying Ornopia’s information that the mayor’s children are in Consolacion town.
The mayor said he will answer the allegations once he receives an order and a copy of the complaint from the Ombudsman.
Duterte believed there are politicians who pushed to put him in bad light as the 2022 elections draw near. (ANV/KAL)