CA hits Ombudsman over wrong penalty

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) has slammed the Office of the Ombudsman for imposing the wrong penalty on a senior officer of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) who had unlawfully transferred ownership of a vehicle in 2005.

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In an 11-page decision penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela and concurred in by Associate Justices Vicente Veloso and Jane Aurora-Lantion, the CA’s 10th Division found that Edgardo Chan, Senior Transportation Regulation Officer of the LTO, was only liable for simple neglect of duty in connection with the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

The November 24, 2014 decision, which was released only recently, shortened Chan’s suspension from office from six months without pay—as what had been imposed by the Ombudsman—to only three months without pay.

Records of the case showed that one Beatriz Lim Rubio filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Chan, Aracelli Alicia Rapada and Maximo de Guzman over the fraudulent transfer of ownership of Rubio’s Isuzu Hi-Lander (XCE 339) to Rapada.

The Ombudsman slapped Chan and the two other respondents with the six months’ suspension, prompting him to elevate his case to the appellate court.

In modifying the ruling, the CA held that the Ombudsman erred in imposing the penalty of six months’ suspension on Chan.

It cited Section 49 (B) of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Case in the Civil Service stating that “the medium period of the penalty shall be imposed when there are no mitigating and aggravating circumstances.”

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2 Comments

  1. There is a need to impose stiffer sanctions against Chan and his cohorts. Why shorten it to 3 months instead of 6? They should have been fired or made utility workers, na lang. They are not fit to process documents in LTO. Itong CA, matalino nga sila, pero mali siguro ang Administrative Code.The Ombudsman is correct in imposing a stiff penalty, short of firing them. The CA is w4rong. When I renewed my driver’s license, in the health check-up, instead of taking my BP, I was just asked if my BP is ok. Ganun lang kadali. Doktor naman ang umixamen sa akin.

  2. CARLITO C YANG on

    I do not agree with the CA decision.

    Transfering someone’s car to another person not named in the “Deed of Absolute Sale” is a grave mistake of Chan or for that matter any employees of the LTO. Employees who make these kind of mistake should be removed from office and forever be barred from holding any office if we want the government offices run by qualified and corrupt free people.

    LTO should rid the fixers in their offices. If you apply for a simple driver’s license, you need a medical checkup that you will get in an adjacent office that is not run by doctors for100 pesos and alas a medical slip and you get your drivers license. The LTO should removed this un-necessary requirement if they want the LTO remove corruption.