Ombudsman orders dismissal of suspended MIAA chief, deputy

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Manila, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has recently ordered the dismissal of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) acting General Manager Cesar Chiong and acting Assistant General Manager Irene Montalbo.

The two officials were put under preventive suspension in May and have now been found guilty of grave misconduct, abuse of authority or oppression, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

According to the Ombudsman’s decision, Chiong reassigned nearly 300 employees within his first month as acting MIAA general manager, while Montalbo aided him in the administration of personnel movement and other administrative matters. The decision, which was signed on August 4th, was made public on Wednesday.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires emphasized that the reassignments made by Chiong “were not done with the aim of improving service delivery to the public.”

Many of the employees were transferred to divisions or departments where they had little or no knowledge or experience, making it difficult for them to effectively perform their duties.

For example, an electrical engineer was reassigned as manager of the airport police department, despite lacking the relevant expertise.

In light of these findings, the office has imposed the penalty of dismissal on Chiong and Montalbo.

However, if the penalty cannot be enforced due to their separation from the service, it will be converted into a fine equivalent to their salary for one year.

In May, the Ombudsman had already suspended Chiong and Montalbo without pay for a period of up to six months. It is now understood that their dismissal will be the final consequence of their misconduct.