CA Reverses Ombudsman Order Dismissing Bacolod Mayor, 8 Others

The Court of Appeals (CA) in Cebu reversed the decision of the Ombudsman to dismiss Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and his co-respondents for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

In a September 6, 2017 promulgation signed by Associate Justices Germano Francisco D. Legaspi and Marilyn B. Lagura-Yap, and Executive Justice Gabriel T. Ingles of the 18th Division of CA-Cebu, the CA cited the Aguinaldo Doctrine is applicable in the defense and the merits of the case alone were already sufficient to exonerate him.

Co-respondents Atty. Goldwyn Nifras, Luzviminda Treyes, Nelson Sedillo, Sr., Belly Aguillon, Aladino Agbones and Jaries Encabo were also cleared and the previous penalty of the dismissal meted them by the Ombudsman was also reversed.

Co-respondents Recabar and Ravena were found guilty of simple misconduct only, and their penalty was amended from dismissal to suspension for three months without pay.

In December 2, 2016, the Ombudsman ordered for the dismissal from service of Leonardia and nine department heads and employees for administrative offenses of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty involving the alleged illegal procurement of furnitures and fixtures for the Bacolod Government Center.

In January 20, 2017 the CA granted Leonardia a 60-day temporary restraining order enjoining the Department of Interior and Local Government from implementing the Ombudsman joint resolution ordering his dismissal along with nine other incumbent and former city officials.*(NDB)



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