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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, October 10, 2019
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OMB reverses order
vs. former vice mayor


The Office of the Ombudsman has reversed and set aside an earlier order imposing a 3-month suspension from office on former Escalante vice mayor and acting mayor Santiago Maravillas.

Maravillas furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday a copy of the order approved by Ombudsman Samuel Reyes Martires that he recently received, and a letter he sent to Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año Wednesday informing him of the ruling that set aside his suspension.

At the time the suspension order dated June 27, 2018 was issued Maravillas was no longer a public official. The Department of the Interior and Local Government sent him several orders informing him that since he could no longer be suspended, his penalty would be converted into a fine equivalent to three months of his salary but he informed them that he had filed an appeal, Maravillas said.

Maravillas, in his letter to Año Wednesday, asked that the DILG orders directing him to pay a fine be recalled in the light of the new order of the Ombudsman in spirit of justice and fairness.

The Ombudsman earlier found the former vice mayor guilty of two counts of abuse of authority/oppression for terminating two casual employees of Escalante City and ordered his suspension.

Maravillas, in filing an appeal, maintained that temporary employees can be terminated anytime.

In setting aside the suspension order, the Ombudsman said since Maravillas was no longer in government service when the complaint was received on Aug. 5, 2016, it was already divested of its administrative jurisdiction over him.

The assailed order of June 27, 2018 is set aside and the order of Aug. 31, 2017 dismissing the case of lack of administrative jurisdiction must accordingly be reinstated with finality, the ruling said.*


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