CA reinstates Camarines Norte vet

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed a Civil Service Commission (CSC) decision reinstating the provincial veterinarian of Camarines Norte who was unlawfully dismissed by Governor Edgardo Tallado in 2012.

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In a 21-page resolution by Associate Justice Pedro Corales and concurred in by Associate Justices Sesinando Villon and Rodil Zalameda, the CA’s 11th Division junked Tallado’s appeals.

The CA also upheld the CSC’s decision which found Tallado guilty of indirect contempt.

Provincial veterinarian Edgardo Gonzales was receiving a monthly compensation corresponding to Salary Grade (SG) 26. On March 1, 2012, Tallado issued a memorandum assigning Gonzales to the newly created Provincial Information Office (PIO).

Feeling aggrieved, Gonzales questioned Tallado’s decision before the CSC through an appeal on March 19, 2012, arguing that his reassignment resulted in diminution of his status, benefits and compensation, and is inconsistent with his current office, considering that the functions of the provincial information officer are different from that of the provincial veterinarian.

The commission ruled in Gonzales’ favor, directing Tallado to immediately return the complainant to his position at the Provincial Veterinary Office, prompting the governor to appeal the same until it reached the appeal’s tribunal.

In its ruling, the CA held that “Gonzales should be returned to his original position, for his indefinite reassignment to another position would amount to his removal without cause from the position to which he has been permanently appointed.”

“[His] contumacious act arose from his refusal to execute [several rulings,]” the CA opined.

“Governor Tallado has no legal justification in refusing to reinstate Dr. Gonzales. In adamantly refusing to comply with CSC’s directives, Governor Tallado’s conduct constituted indirect contempt punishable under Section 21, Rule 24 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RACCS).

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