Saturday 17 November, 2018
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CA upholds Ombudsman ruling vs retired Coast Guard admiral

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The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld an Ombudsman ruling which found retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Cecil Chen administratively liable for anomalous utilization of cash advances amounting to P689.6 million.

This as the CA denied Chen’s petition for review seeking the reversal of the Ombudsman’s November 22, 2017
decision which found him guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service along with 24 other high-ranking Coast Guard officials.

In the said ruling, the Ombudsman handed down the penalty of dismissal against the PCG officials or a fine equivalent to the salary for one year for respondents who have already retired or separated from the
service.

In his petition, Chen said the Ombudsman erred in finding him liable for the alleged irregular grant of cash advance despite proof that he simply signed a report of disbursement which was certified as true and correct by the PCG’s chief accountant.

But the CA said Chen, as a fleet chief and Special Disbursing Officer, has the
responsibility and accountability to oversee the proper disbursement of funds released under his name.

“We have judiciously evaluated the records and hereby find that the questioned decision of the Ombudsman is supported by substantial evidence and well within the bounds of law,” the CA ruled.

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