Surigao gov’t doctor faces suspension for dishonesty in SALN

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 September) – For failure to declare her stockholdings in a family-owned rural bank in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), the Office of the Ombudsman has found a government doctor here guilty of “simple dishonesty” and meted out a penalty of two months suspension.

Documents obtained by MindaNews show that Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, pursuant to the order of the graft court’s Davao City office dated July 2, ordered the suspension of Dr. Bliss D. Cuiting, medical specialist II of the Caraga Regional Hospital.

According to a complaint filed by Nenita C. Carvajal, Cuiting’s omission to state her involvement as stockholder and a member of the board of directors of the Rural Bank of Placer, Inc. constitutes a violation of Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

MindaNews tried to get Cuiting’s reaction by going to the bank Thursday morning and afternoon, but she was either reported by the guard to be not there or was in a meeting and could not be disturbed. After waiting for an hour, MindaNews was told by one of the security guards that the doctor would neither allow anyone to interview her nor would she comment on the issue.

But aside from the accusation of graft and corrupt practices, there appears to be a deep-rooted quarrel between complainant, Nenita Cuiting-Carvajal, and the respondent, Dr. Bliss Dingal-Cuiting. The doctor is married to Johnson Cuiting, brother of Nenita Carvajal.

In Carvajal’s blog (, she has accused Dr. Cuiting of taking over the family business by booting out the founders of the rural bank, which include Carvajal and her mother, Candida Cuiting.

The Cuitings figured in the news since 2009 when Johnson Cuiting, who was president of the Rural Bank of Placer at that time, was kidnapped. He has been missing since then. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)