Ombudsman files graft raps vs. ex-CAAP exec

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ombudsman logoBy Perfecto T. Raynundo

MANILA, 6July2013 – The Office of the Ombudsman has filed before the Sandiganbayan graft charges for violations of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against a former official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

In a 14-page resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the indictment of Daniel Dimagiba, former Deputy Director General for Operations of CAAP, for violations of Section 3(a) and Section 3(e) of RA 3019 for pressuring Capt. Ismael Lapus, Jr. and Capt. Andrew Florentino, both CAAP flight operations inspectors, to change the grades (from failing to passing) of Capt. Saturnino Dela Cruz and Capt. Jayfred Basawil on the Pilot Proficiency Flight Check and for irregularly issuing an Air Carrier Operating Certificate in 2008 to One Sky Aviation Services, Inc., respectively.

The case arose from a complaint filed in December 2009 by Ruben Ciron, then Director General of CAAP.

Dimagiba was found to have issued the ACOC to OSASI “without authority, in the absence of the mandatory requirement of Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) or Temporary Operating Permit (TOP), in violation of existing regulations” thereby giving “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference and/or caused undue injury to the Government in the discharge of his official administrative functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

The resolution cited Section 66 of RA 9497 which provides that “in no event shall the Director General issue an air operator certificate to an air carrier that does not possess a valid CPCN.”

It added the irregular issuance of the ACOC eventually resulted in the issuance of a Foreign Air Carrier Operating Certificate by the Australian Government to OSASI, which incident placed CAAP “in a very embarrassing situation” and jeopardized the CAAP’s relationship with its civil aviation authority counterparts in Australia and the rest of the world.”

Dimagiba was also found to have threatened not to issue the licenses of six CAAP Flight Operations Inspectors, including those of Capts. Lapus and Florentino and to withhold funding for the International Civil Aviation Organization project, if Lapus and Florentino will not change the check ride grades they gave to Dela Cruz and Basawil. (PNA)

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