Capitol says it has no obligation to replace missing fertilizer

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas said the provincial government is under no obligation to replace the missing fertilizer supposedly for local government units affected by typhoon Odette.

Nellas told reporters on Wednesday that he also received a copy of the appeal submitted to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regional office by dismissed Office of the Provincial Agriculturist employee Hermigildo Basilio in connection with the missing 789 bags of fertilizer.

“It is his right, we will just wait for the order of the CSC to comment,” he said

In an earlier media statement, Basilio said he was made a scapegoat in the missing fertilizer amounting to P2.3 million.

“I strongly decry my dismissal from service for grave charges without any evidentiary support, he declared.

But Nellas insisted that the dismissal of Basilio was based on substantial evidence.

He added that it is supported by records and receipts as to who received the fertilizer when it was delivered.

Nellas also said that there is no record that could link the division head named by Basilio who supposedly instructed him to receive the fertilizer.

He added though that the division head who had resigned from his post is free to go to the Provincial Legal Office to make clarification as his name has cropped up in the case.

“But we cannot summon him,” Nellas said.

As to OPA head Dr. Raul Causing, who has also resigned from his post following the controversy, Nellas said the former had no knowledge about the delivery.

He also stressed that the delivery was made after office hours which is a violation as far as procedures to be observed in delivering goods to the Rice Processing Center owned by the provincial government is concerned.

“It is in the manual, it is not allowed,” Nellas said.

He also that the provincial government has received a letter from the Department of Agriculture (DA) asking what happened to the fertilizer.

Nellas said they informed the DA that the provincial government is under no obligation to replace the missing fertilizer as the delivery was made under questionable circumstances.

He added that what they can do is help in looking for the person or persons accountable which led to the dismissal of  Basilio and the termination of the contract of employment of a job order employee of OPA.