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Junjun argument may no longer apply vs dismissal order

MANILA, Philippines – Dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. can no longer invoke the condonation doctrine in questioning the dismissal order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against him last month over alleged anomaly in the Makati City Hall Building 2 project.

Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Theodore Te said this yesterday as the high court released its ruling abandoning the condonation doctrine that clears reelected officials of administrative liabilities for acts committed in their previous term.

In a press conference, Te confirmed reports that the application of abandonment would be prospective in effect as specifically stated in the dispositive portion of the ruling penned by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

In its ruling, the SC held that the condonation doctrine, which became part of Philippine jurisprudence in 1959 upon ruling also of the high court, should be abandoned for lack of basis in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and law.

The high tribunal stressed that none of the provisions under the Local Government Code on the discipline of public officers stated that the administrative liability of a public official is extinguished by the fact of re-election.

“Election is not a mode of condoning an administrative offense, and there is simply no constitutional or statutory basis in our jurisdiction to support the notion that an official elected for a different term is fully absolved of any administrative liability arising from an offense done during a prior term,” read the decision.

Te stressed that abandonment of the doctrine, as stated in the ruling, would apply in future cases, including possible actions of Binay in questioning his dismissal from government service.

Asked if Binay could invoke the doctrine against his dismissal, which stemmed from the same charges related to the Makati parking building, Te said he believes the ousted mayor no longer could.

But the SC stressed that the CA was correct in applying the condonation doctrine in stopping the ombudsman’s suspension order against Binay since it was still valid then.

In the same decision, the high court also directed the CA to resolve the petition of Binay questioning the ombudsman’s suspension order for being moot due to his dismissal last month as supervening event.

“Considering that the ombudsman, on Oct. 9, 2015, had already found Binay Jr. administratively liable and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal, which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, for the present administrative charges against him, the CA petition ought to be dismissed on the ground of mootness,” read the ruling.

source: Phil Star

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