Ex Gov. Tallado, 2 others sued before ombudsman

By Mark A. Gomez


Labo, Camarines Norte --- A former councilor of Labo town has filed criminal and administrative charges against former governor Edgardo A. Tallado, ex provincial legal officer Atty. Don H. Culvera and provincial human resource officer Magdalena B. Toledana of Camarines Norte, for grave misconduct, dishonesty, conduct prejudicial to the interest of the public and unlawful appointment under Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code; and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, before the Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon.


In a seven page -- criminal and administrative complaint filed by Bernardo D. Alaon on September 1, 2022 it was alleged that the cases stemmed from the action done by Tallado, Culvera and Toledana as they were not only remiss in their responsibility attached to their positions but also violating pertinent laws, rules and regulations in coordinating and conspiring among each other in appointing Atty. Culvera as Provincial Legal Officer despite the latter’s lack of professional experience.


According to the complaint, Culvera applied as provincial legal officer of Camarines Norte sometime in 2016 during the incumbency of Tallado. However, the issue about the appointment of Atty. Culvera was brought to the Civil Service Commission.


The designation of Culvera as a provincial legal officer was invalidated by the Civil Service Commission due to violation of Section 481 of Republic Act No. 7160, which stated that a legal provincial officer must have practiced his/her profession for at least five (5) years.


The complaint cites a portion of the Decision issued by the CSC Region V on March 1, 2018.


“Evaluation of the appointment issued to Culvera shows that he failed to meet the required experience of the position where he was appointed. It should be pointed out that the position of Provincial Legal Officer requires that the appointee must have practiced his profession for at least five (5) years.


Verification from the Roll of Attorneys reveals that Atty. Culvera was admitted to the Philippine Bar only on April 29, 2015. Hence, he could not have practiced his profession for five (5) years.”


Moreover, records show that this Office has already invalidated the same appointment on January 1, 2017 and February 3, 2017 on the same ground


In view of the foregoing the appointment of Culvera as Provincial Legal Officer is hereby invalidated.”


The complaint stated that Culvera failed to meet the professional experience requirement for the position, because the appointment was only less than two years after his admission to the Philippine Bar.


The complaint also pointed out that Culvera’s appointment was invalidated by Civil Service Commission for numerous times.


On Grave misconduct


According to the complaint Tallado and others’ action or their repeated attempts to secure the appointment of Culvera despite its invalidation for several times, only shows clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule.


On dishonesty


Complainant pointed out that the respondents of the case involved are guilty of concealment or distortion of truth, which shows lack of integrity or a disposition to defraud, cheat, deceive and intent to violate the truth.


On Conduct prejudicial to the interest of the public


The complaint states that Tallado, Culvera and Toledana, in order to secure the appointment of Culvera, deliberately and effectively compromised the integrity and efficiency of the government service.


On Anti-Graft and Corruption practices act


They caused unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official function through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence in favoring the appointment of Culvera, the complaint stated.


On Unlawful Appointment


Tallado and Toledana were both guilty of unlawful appointment, they being public officers, by knowingly and illegally appointing Culvera as provincial legal officer despite being unqualified, Alaon declared.