Palace to abide by court order to reinstate dismissed higher education exec


MALACANANG said it would comply with the Court of Appeals’ (CA) order to reinstate Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) executive Julito Vitriolo who was dismissed for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.

“The Office of the President and the Commission on Higher Education will – of course – respect and abide by the decision and order of the Court of Appeals,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Friday.

Abella issued the statement as the CHEd awaited instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte on what to do with two officials now holding the same position.

In an August 17 decision, the CA’s 12th Division dismissed the charges of gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, incompetence and inefficiency lodged against Vitriolo by the Office of the Omubudsman.

The appellate court ordered Vitriolo’s reinstatement without diminution of salary and benefits, noting that Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss him in January was “too harsh and disproportionate” to his offense.

The Ombudsman had accused the CHEd executive director of acting with “gross negligence” for failing to heed the demand to investigate and stop the diploma mill, and for allowing the Pamantasan ng Lungsood ng Maynila to issue transcripts of records and diplomas based on a suspended education program.

Following the CA’s ruling, Duterte has to act on the decision.

Vitriolo is said to “effectively replace” Karol Mark Yee who was appointed to the post.

Yee, who was the CHEd’s K-to-12 transition program head, said he was told to continue serving as executive director. CATHERINE S. VALENTE


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