By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
An employee of Negros Occidental Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), who has been dismissed for the alleged disappearance of the 789 fertilizer bags at the Negros First Rice Processing Center (NFRPC) in Bago City, has finally broken his silence, stating that he will make an appeal.
Former OPA agriculturist Herminigildo Basilio said he strongly decries his dismissal from the service for grave charges without any evidentiary support.
Basilio said he had thoroughly explained his side through his reply to the show cause order supported by documentary evidence.
He said his answer to the formal charge was made under oath, providing the names of persons who should have been included in the investigation, if such was made to uncover the truth.
Basilio explained he had already provided proof that he was no longer in-charge of the NFRPC for more than a year at the time of the fertilizer bags’ disappearance.
He also claimed he did not have the NFRPC warehouse’s key, and he was just following his superiors’ instructions.
He explained that the fertilizers were completely unloaded to the warehouse, and were acknowledged by the guard on duty and recorded in their logbook.
“For me to be made the scapegoat and dismissed after more than a decade of loyal service to the provincial government due to 789 bags of fertilizers that allegedly went missing on October 18, 2022 is simply devastating for me and my family and shows that injustice prevails in the halls of the Provincial Capitol,” Basilio said in his statement.
He said he is now left with no recourse, but to appeal his dismissal before an “impartial authority.”
Earlier, Basilio was dismissed by the provincial government for administrative charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and malversation of public funds of property.
Another OPA employee, agriculturist Joy Cardinal, had her employment terminated.
Provincial Legal Office head, Atty. Alberto Nellas, Jr. said they have found enough evidence to suggest that the two can be held liable for the disappearance of the fertilizer bags which are worth P2.3 million.
Nellas said Basilio had been given 15 days to file an appeal before the Civil Service Commission.
Nellas also confirmed that the involved employees’ immediate supervisor had already resigned due to the incident.
He further added that they were unable to chase down the division head since the PLO had already cleared the supervisor./DGB, WDJ