TUGUEGARAO City Mayor Jefferson Soriano has been ordered reinstated by the 4th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) which overturned the Ombudsman’s dismissal order in January this year.
On Wednesday, Soriano took his oath before Judge Maita Israel Deray at the Tuguegarao City Hall showing the CA decision, a copy of which was presented to the media.
Promulgated on August 30, the CA order penned by Fourth Division Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta was for the “immediate” reinstatement of Soriano.
The appellate court’s decision said Soriano should have only been meted with three months suspension, instead of dismissal from service.
The Ombudsman’s earlier dismissal order stemmed from the issuance by Soriano of a provisional permit to operate a parking terminal without the approval of the city council.
The graft investigator charged him with grave abuse of authority.
However, the CA ruled that Soriano should only be meted with a simple misconduct with a 90-day suspension as penalty and not dismissal from office.
The CA decision stated: “Grave abuse of authority is a misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, wrongfully inflicts upon any person bodily harm, imprisonment, or other injury; it is an act of cruelty, severity, or excessive use of authority.”
The appellate court said Soriano’s three-month suspension is enough from February 10 when he stepped down from office up to May 10, 2017. He is entitled to back salaries and other benefits from May 11 up to the date of his reinstatement on September 6.