Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Wednesday filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a complaint for graft against officials of the Office of the Ombudsman for ordering his dismissal from service for malversation and graft for the alleged misuse of his province’s calamity funds during a previous term.
Named respondent in the complaint were Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente, Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices Cyryl Ramos, and graft investigators Laurrei Layne Cristobal, Anna Francesca Limbo, Ma. Bernadette Andal-Subaan and Amy Rose Soler-Rellin.
He accused the said officials for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act specifically Section 3 (e) for causing any undue injury against a party through evident bad faith.
He stated that the said officials should be prosecuted for imposing the administrative penalty on him despite the condonation doctrine, which clears elected officials of administrative liabilities in previous terms upon reelection to their posts.
Condonation doctrine clears a public official of administrative liability upon re-election.
The Supreme Court, however, abandoned the condonation doctrine when it ruled on the administrative case against former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. in 2015, but applied the ruling prospectively or only for succeeding cases.
“It is indisputable that the alleged act was committed on June 2012, and despite the fact that complainant was re-elected twice in the 2013 and 2016 elections, and despite the fact that the abandonment of the condonation doctrine was only on November 2015, applicable prospectively, respondents, still dismissed complainant from office twice based on the same facts,” Degamo said in his complaint.
Degamo said the Court of Appeals has already reversed the first dismissal order in January last year and yet the Ombudsman again issued another dismissal order on the same case in December last year.
“We filed this case because I think we are being abused by the Ombudsman. I was dismissed twice by the Ombudsman even when the Court of Appeals already reversed the Ombudsman decision,” the governor told reporters in an interview.
Degamo’s lawyer Richard Enojo told reporters that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was excluded because she is an impeachable official.
He said they also filed the complaint before the DOJ, which has concurrent jurisdiction with the Ombudsman office in conducting preliminary investigation on graft charges. JE