BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The common defense of Capitol’s Tagay Five, based on the popular quote “to refuse an offer is an insult” faces its first test Thursday as the five employees of the Agriculture Office face their superiors in a pre-hearing conference.
The hearing, expected to be held in the session hall of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 29 September 2022, is related to the alleged misuse of a Capitol car.
The five – Ramil Letran, German Abihay, Rezin Palacios, and Maria Luisa Abana – face charges of misuse of a government vehicle, but Agricultural Engineering Division Head Engineer Jimbo Garsula was also charged with two counts of grave misconduct for the alleged verbal maltreatment of fellow Capitol employee Mario Pequit Pequit.
All face dismissal from. public service if their infractions can be proven.
Capitol chief lawyer Alberto Nellas had earlier said the employees who are still serving their 60-day preventive suspensions can bring their own lawyers to the pre-hearing.
The cases stemmed from an incident on 15 July 2022 when the five were sent on official travel to Victorias City to orient that city’s agriculturists.
They used the service car of Capitol, however, beyond office hours because they were invited to a round of drinks by their hosts.
The five have all claimed they could not refuse the invitations of their counterparts in Victorias City.