10 March 2017
Atty. Premolito Plaza, the Provincial Administrator of Surigao Del Norte, was reprimanded by the Office of the Ombudsman for failing to reply to the letters of a certain Benjie Ruperto Latras, a provincial employee reassigned to the Sta. Monica District Hospital.
According to the complaint, Latras wrote Plaza on 08 June 2015 requesting relief from property accountability of the properties under his custody prior to his reassignment to the district hospital. A follow-up letter was made on 21 November 2015, however, both letters were ignored.
"There is substantial evidence to prove that Plaza failed to respond to complainant's letters. His contention, without other corroborating evidence, that he verbally advised complainant on the procedure of turning over the properties under his charge, is without merit," read the Decision.
The Decision also added that "by failing to act on complainant's letters-request, respondent Plaza unjustifiably failed to attend to one who wanted to avail himself of the services of the provincial office."
Under Section 5(a) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713), it is the duty of public officials to "act promptly on letters and requests within 15 working days from receipt thereof, respond to letters, telegrams or other means of communications sent by the public. The reply must contain the action taken on the request.