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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 12, 2018
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Ombudsman orders
another suspension

The Office of the Ombudsman yesterday released another order suspending a Negros Occidental official, but this time it has become moot and academic.

Former Escalante Vice Mayor Santiago Maravillas cannot be suspended for one year as ordered as he is no longer a public official.

Maravillas was found guilty of two counts of abuse of authority/oppression for terminating two casual employees of Escalante City and was ordered suspended for one year, the Office of the Ombudsman announced on its website yesterday.

Maravillasyesterday maintained that temporary employees can be terminated anytime. He said that while he can no longer be suspended from public office, he will file an appeal before the Court of Appeals to clear his name.

Investigation found that during his stint as acting mayor of Escalante, Maravillas terminated the services of contractual employees Florencio Lauron and Francisca Pabuaya, who were occupying the positions of Heavy Equipment Operator II and Administrative Aide II, respectively, the Ombudsman's decision said.

Maravillasissued a termination letter dated Jan. 12, 2016 to Lauron, while Pabuaya was excluded from the payroll beginning Jan. 1, 2016, it said.

“Respondent's act of terminating the services of complainants (Lauron and Pabuaya) without cause and without due process is a clear display of excessive use of authority.  The act of summarily dismissing complainants violates Section 36(a), Article IX of Presidential Decree No. 807 (Civil Service Decree of the Philippines) and Section 46, Chapter 7, Title I, subtitle a, Book V of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987) which both provide in part (that) no officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law, and after due process,” the decision said.

Earlier the Ombudsman also issued a 90-day suspension on Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla for violation of Section 3(e) R.A. No. 3019 for repeatedly delaying the implementation of the Ombudsman's suspension order against five city employees .

Montilla saidhe delayed the suspension of the five Sipalay City employees on the advice of his lawyer as they had pending motions for reconsideration filed at the Office of the Ombudsman.

However, when the Office of the Ombudsman took a long time in coming out with resolutions on the employees' MRs, he enforced the suspension, Montilla added.

He is opting to serve out the 90-day suspension meted on him, saying it will not be that long, anyway. *CPG




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