Conduct Unbecoming? Avelino “Billy” Ceriola? Graft and Corruption?

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Billy is a self-proclaimed beginner in the cockfighting sports culture but is becoming competitive in local (provincial and regional) competitions.

Billy is the Vice President of Bicol Gamefowl Breeders Association (BIGBA) since February 2012.

– Gameness til the End

Avelino “Billy” Ceriola

Mayor sacked for operating cockpit

By Rio N. Araja | May. 17, 2014 at 12:01am

THE Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday ordered the dismissal of a town mayor from Albay for operating a cockpit.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, in a 15-page decision, sacked Malinao Mayor Avelino Ceriola for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and the Local Government Code of 1991 when he opened a venue for cockfighting under his own company in 2011.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed on May 18, 2012 by Ervin Fajut, a member of the Sangguniang Bayan.

“Ceriola should be held administratively liable for committing unlawful acts in a manner that evinces deliberate intent and flagrant disregard of established rule,” the decision read.

The anti-graft law in Section 89 (2) provides that any local government official or employee is prohibited from having pecuniary interests, whether directly or indirectly, in any cockpit or other games licensed by the local government unit.

Records showed Ceriola was the president, chairman of the board, and majority stockholder of Ceriola Corp. from the time it undertook the construction and operation of the cockpit without building and business permits until it was granted a “favorable endorsement” to [re]construct and [re]operate the New Malinao Cockpit Arena by the Sangguniang Bayan through Resolution 46 issued on Sept. 20, 2011.

Ceriola approved the said resolution, the Ombudsman found.

Present laws prohibit the mere holding by a public officer of any direct or indirect interest in any business, contract, or transaction in which he intervenes or takes part in an official capacity,  or “[i]n which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.”

The Ombudsman noted that Ceriola built and operated the cockpit without proper license when he himself issued a mayor’s permit in favor of Ceriola Corp.’s Malinao cockpit arena.

Under the Code, it is the Sanguniang Bayan, not the Mayor, “[t]o authorize and license the establishment, operation, and maintenance of cockpits, and regulate cockfighting and commercial breeding of gamecocks.”

The decision said Ceriola “exhibited the kind of wanton and deliberate disregard of the law which would qualify as Grave Misconduct under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.”

He was also meted out accessory penalties of cancellation of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and bar from taking civil service examination.




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