Clark airport official ordered to vacate posh villa occupied by family

Published May 17, 2021, 2:47 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit sought the eviction of a Clark International Airport Corporation board director and his family who have occupied a posh villa at the Clark Freeport Zone, as state auditors noted that the official had overstayed and is not entitled to the privilege.

Complying with the recommendation of COA, the CIAC issued a notice to vacate the premises to its director but the latter appealed for a reconsideration and asked that they be allowed to continue occupying the house until the end of President Duterte’s term of office.

COA, in its recently-released 2020 annual audit report for CIAC, did not identify the official but chided him for taking advantage of a privilege he is not entitled to.

“Housing privilege was accorded to one Board of Director (BOD) starting September 2019, without specific authority under the law or charter and required approval of the Office of the President,” COA said.

“The use of government property for personal services is deemed irregular and unethical,” auditors said, citing provisions of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and Presidential Decree No. 1445.

The CIAC is a non-chartered government-owned and controlled corporation.

Audit examiners said that it has been the policy of CiAC to grant housing privilege but this is limited to the state-run firm’s president and chief executive officer and vice presidents.

According to the report Villa 1525 at the CFZ “is being occupied by one of CIAC’s board of directors, together with his wife and children since 2019.” The villa was originally assigned to the vice president for Airport Operations and Management Group but “out of generosity” allowed the director to occupy one of its rooms.

However, when the said CIAC executive vacated the villa and later resigned his post, the board director continued occupying the housing unit, this time bringing his family to stay at the housing unit.

“It is worth mentioning that all utilities consumed for the entire duration of his stay at the villa were borne by CIAC. During the audit, the audit team was unable to obtain the authority, issued, if any, for the free use of the aforementioned property,” COA reported.

According to the report, the director continued to stay at the villa notwithstanding the appointment by the CIAC of a replacement for the resigned VP.

“By and large the behavior of the subject official did not conform to the rules of discipline and ethical standards which is punishable under Section 4(a) of Republic ACt No. 6713 and Section 19 of Republic Act NO. 10149,” auditors stressed.

COA recommended that the BOD member be evicted from the villa and asked to refund the “aggregate utility expenses incurred during the period of occupancy”.

Audit records revealed that as of December 31, 2020, the CIAC spent P10,242 for water service expenses and P56,907.89 for electricity incurred by occupants of the villa.