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Marikina city engineer, 6 other execs suspended for grave misconduct

MARIKINA City engineer and building official Kennedy Sueno, and six other officials from the same department have been placed by the Office of the Ombudsman under a six-month preventive suspension based on pending administrative charges for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed the order last June 5, directing Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro to implement the suspension with a reminder that non-compliance without just cause is deemed sufficient ground to disciplinary action.

Besides Sueno, also suspended were Enforcement Section chief Romeo Gutierrez Jr., building inspector Marlito Poquiz, electrical inspector Alex Copreros, engineer Mark de Joya, electrician foreman Manuel Santos, and administrative aide Abigail Joy Santiago.

“This Office finds sufficient grounds for the issuance of an order for preventive suspension against respondents… considering that there is strong evidence showing their guilt. Their continued stay in office may prejudice the investigation of the case against them,” the Ombudsman said.

Grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, if proven, may warrant dismissal of the respondents from government service.

The charges were based on the complaint filed last month by spouses Brian and Agnes Torres, residents of Twin River Subdivision in Barangay Parang, Marikina City.

Complainants said they applied for a building permit in August 2021 to construct their house but encountered numerous obstacles while trying to secure permits.

They said they were pressured to cough up P430,000 by the staff of the City Engineers’ Office but the permit was only approved on March 2, 2022, only to be revoked on April 19, 2022.

From the start of erecting a fence in November 2021 until the stoppage of all construction works in April 2022, the complainants said they were issued two violation notices, required to secure an exemption for the two-meter setback from the City Council, told to amend the building plan, served a notice of lack of fire certificate, and several visits from various inspectors.

The Torreses elevated their problem to the secretary of the