THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado for six months without pay for allegedly disgraceful and immoral conduct.
The order stemmed from a complaint filed on November 14, 2014 by Jonel Banal in connection with a sex video and nude photos allegedly of Tallado and his mistress that went viral on social media.
In his defense, Tallado said the complainant resorted to forum shopping after he filed a similar complaint before the Office of the President (OP) on January 16, 2015.
The governor added that similarly a complaint was filed against him by Virgilio Avila Jr. before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on November 14, 2014. The complaint was endorsed to the OP in December 2014.
But the Ombudsman said in its ruling that “[t]his Office finds without basis respondent’s contention that there is a pending similar complaint with the Office of the President. Records show that the complaint of Avila against herein respondent with the CSC is for a different cause of action of maintaining illicit relationship with his alleged mistress. Moreover, the complaint filed on 16 January 2015 before the Office of the President does not deprive this Office of jurisdiction over the present case which was filed ahead on 14 November 2014.”
The Office of the Ombudsman explained that it already had jurisdiction over the case because it was where the complaint was filed first.
“In administrative cases involving the concurrent jurisdiction of two or more disciplining authorities, the body in which the complaint is filed first, and which opts to take cognizance of the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of other tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction,” it said.
“Wherefore, judgment is rendered finding respondent Edgardo A. Tallado administratively liable for Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct for which he is meted the penalty of Six (6) months suspension and One (1) day without pay pursuant to Section 10, Rule III, Administrative Order No. 07, as amended by Administrative Order No. 17, in relation to Section 25 of Republic Act No. 6770,” the Ombudsman held.
Republic Act 6770 is the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the six-page decision on August 8, 2016 and was released on August 23, 2016.