DAET, Camarines Norte: The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon dismissed from office Gov. Edgardo Tallado and meted him the penalties of cancelation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and barring him from taking the civil service examination.
A nine-page decision dated January 10, 2018 signed by Raphael Lorenzo Pangalangan, graft investigation prosecution officer 1, said, “Respondent’s immediate reassumption of the functions as governor during the period of his suspension despite the DILG’s [Department of the Interior and Local Government] directive for him to cease and desist from performing such official functions, constitute a clear intent to violate the law and flagrant disregard of established rules. Thus, the respondent is liable for grave misconduct — a grave offense punishable by dismissal from office.”
The case stemmed from a grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct complaint that Edgardo Gonzales, the provincial veterinarian, filed against Tallado.
The governor, in 2012, sacked Gonzales from his post and assigned him to the position of public information officer, which the governor allegedly created for the veterinarian.
The DILG, on October 27, 2015, suspended Tallado, who in turn filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals (CA), which issued a decision on May 12, 2016 reducing the penalty to six months.
With the decision, the governor immediately reassumed office.
Gonzales, however, argued that the CA decision had not yet become final and executory.
In his supplemental arguments with manifestation, he said the appellate court, in its December 1, 2016 resolution, restored the penalty of suspension to one year as imposed by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman.
Hence, according to Gonzales, Tallado’s immediate reassumption of office is a clear usurpation of the functions of governor.
The governor, despite repeated text messages and calls from this reporter, declined to comment on the issue.
DILG Region 5 Director Elouisa Pastor, whom the Deputy Ombudsman assigned to implement the dismissal order, said, “I cannot comment on the dismissal yet since until now we have not been officially furnished a copy of said order.”