SC affirms dismissal of 179 Vizcaya employees

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BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The Supreme Court’s (SC) 3rd Division has denied with finality a motion for reconsideration filed by several provincial employees here whose appointment were recalled and declared null and void by Gov. Ruth Padilla in 2013.

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The case stemmed from the issuance of Executive Order 3 (EO 3) upon assumption into office by Padilla on July 1, 2013 nullifying the appointment of 179 employees.

Some employees, however, did not seek legal remedies, instead, they reapplied for employment and were accommodated by Padilla.

In a resolution dated March 1, 2017, the SC’s 3rd Division affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ruling on April 25, 2016 declaring the provincial employees’ appointment null and void.

The same resolution also denied the employees’ petition for review of certiorari, which prompted them to file a motion for reconsideration and supplemental motion for reconsideration.

“In view of the failure of petitioners to present convincing evidence that will warrant the reversal of the findings of the Court of Appeals, this court resolves to deny the petition,” the SC’s 3rd Division resolution stated.

This time, the 3rd Division in a resolution dated July 17, 2017 “resolved to DENY the motions with FINALITY, as no substantial argument were raised to warrant their reconsideration.”

SC Third Division clerk of court Wilfredo Lapitan said the employees’ motion to refer the case to the en banc with Motion to Hold in Abeyance Ad Cautelam dated April 19, 2017 was also denied for lack of merit.

Lapitan explained that the court en banc is not an appellate court to which decisions or resolutions of a division may be appealed.

”No further pleadings, motions, letters and other communications shall be entertained in this case. Let entry of judgment be issued,” he stated in the notice, copies of which were received by the parties.

In 2013, then Gov. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, now representative of Nueva Vizcaya, was on her last term as Vizcaya governor when she signed the appointments of the EO 3-affected employees.

In her EO 3, Padilla, pointed out that the questioned appointments were in violation of the Omnibus Election Code and Civil Service Memorandum Circular prohibiting midnight appointments.

But the Civil Service Commission-Region 2 and later the CSC central office held that the appointments were valid and on September 26, 2014, ordered the reinstatement of the employees, ruling that Padilla has no authority to recall, withdraw and revoke the appointments of the employees because such power only resides in the commission.

The CA, however, modified the CSC rulings and recalled the employees’ appointments, which were null and void because of the “improper constitution” of the Provincial Selection and Promotions Board that screened and deliberated the appointments.

LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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