• Court stops ouster of Camarines Gov

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    THE Court of Appeals (CA) has halted a decision of the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing Gov. Edgardo Tallado of Camarines Norte for invalidating the appointment of 48 provincial government employees.

    In a 12-page decision penned by Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang and concurred in by Associate Justices Mario Lopez and Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob, the CA’s Special Third Division issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the Ombudsman, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other parties or individuals from implementing its decision dated April 18, 2016 pending resolution of a petition.

    According to the appellate court, if the ruling has already been implemented, “they are hereby enjoined from continuously implementing the dismissal order against petitioner [Tallado], conditioned upon the posting of a bond by petitioner in the amount of [P50,000.]”

    On July 23, 2010, Tallado issued a memorandum sacking the provincial employees, including Milline Marie Belarma-Dela Cruz, Mark Anthony Mago, Maria Joannelle Crisostomo and Shanta Valenciano-Baraquiel.

    The four employees were earlier appointed to various permanent positions by then-Gov. Atoy Typoco.

    Tallado, however, claimed that the appointments were not transmitted to the Governor’s Office from the Human Resource Management Division (HRMD) and neither were they recorded in the logbook of his office.

    Hence, he said, they were not signed by Typoco.

    While the case was pending with the Ombudsman, Tallado reinstated Mago in October 2015 while other employees were reinstated in January 2016 by acting Gov. Jonah Pimentel.

    On April 18, 2016, the Ombudsman issued a ruling that found Tallado guilty of grave misconduct and oppression or abuse of authority and imposed the penalty of dismissal from the service on him, prompting him to seek redress with the Court of Appeals.

    Citing the condonation doctrine, Tallado claimed that his subsequent reelection as governor in the May 9, 2016 elections operates as a condonation of the acts committed during his previous term.

    In issuing its TRO dated December 12, 2016 that was released to the media only recently, the CA cited several jurisprudences issued by the Supreme Court (SC).

    Meanwhile, the appellate tribunal issued an injunction order against the Ombudsman in a separate administrative complaint finding Tallado liable for disgraceful and immoral conduct and suspended him for six months and one day.

    Sometime in October 2014, photos depicting Tallado, naked and kissing another naked woman, who was not his wife, went viral on the Internet and the print and broadcast media until the case reached the Ombudsman.

    The appellate tribunal ordered DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno to immediately restore Tallado to his position as governor of Camarines Norte.

    JOMAR CANLAS

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