Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ombudsman raps against Lim a petty case

BALER, Aurora March 10, 2011-With the alleged misuse of some Php4.7 million in public funds that supposedly got wasted because of its slogan boo-boo last year, Department of Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim described the graft charges filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman as a petty Case only.

Henry Giron claimed the money was allegedly spent for lunch during the launching of the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan blunder on November 15, 2010. He said he was filing a case against Lim under the principle of command responsibility since he exercises control over DOT and resigned undersecretary for planning and promotions Vicente Romano who conceptualized the controversial logo stated in the seven-page complaint.

Giron accused Lim and Romano of illegal use of public funds under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, Violation of the Tourism Act of 2009 and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Lim said the funds were not misused as these were spent in line with the DOT’s mandate to promote the country as a tourism destination.

Lim said he could not be held responsible on the principle of command responsibility since he and Romano were only doing their jobs and said that he had advised Romano against premature launching of the promotional campaign but the latter did not heed him.

Lim said that the case complainant Giron did not present facts accurately where he believed that the graft complaint against him will be dismissed for being petty.

“I don’t know this guy (Giron). I am willing to face him in any investigation,” he said.

He expressed hope that the Office of the Ombudsman, which is presently investigating the case will, after due process, not give due course to it. “In fact, mali mali ang facts niya (his facts are inaccurate),” he said of Giron’s complaint, without specifying where Giron erred. (Jason de Asis)

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