• Ombudsman drops case vs ex-Vizcaya gov

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    BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The Office of the Ombudsman has cleared former Gov. Ruth Padilla and provincial legal officer Voltaire Garcia from corrupt practices and grave abuse of authority cases for lack of probable cause and substantial evidence.

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    A joint resolution approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed the case filed by 21 provincial government employees, whose appointments and promotions were revoked by Padilla upon her assumption as governor in 2013.

    The employees who were appointed and promoted by then governor, now Rep. Luisa Cuaresma, have questioned Padilla’s authority to revoke their respective appointments and promotions before the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

    The CSC ruled in favor of the employees and directed Padilla to implement their reinstatement and payment of back wages.

    On May 7, 2015, Padilla directed Garcia to act on the implementation of the CSC order reinstating the employees to the respective positions they were appointed and promoted. They were also paid their back wages for the period January-June 2015.

    But the employee’s back wages for the years 2013 and 2014 were not paid for lack of appropriation, of which the employees accused Padilla of willful disobedience for refusing to implement the CSC order.

    However, the Ombudsman’s order said there is no evidence of respondents openly refusing to implement the CSC order without any legal justification.

    ”Here respondent Padilla… implemented the CSC Resolutions by reinstating complainants to the positions they were appointed or promoted to and were paid their back wages for the period January to June 2015,” the order said.

    And for the non-payment of their back wages for years 2013 and 2014, the Ombudsman said it is beyond Padilla’s control.

     LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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