DAGUPAN CITY—Malacañang has dismissed an administrative complaint against Mayor Benjamin Lim for abuse of authority in connection with the city government’s purchase of a piece of land in San Jacinto, Pangasinan, in 2002.
In another complaint for graft filed at the Office of the Ombudsman in June last year, a certain Leo Angeles said the 35-hectare hilly land that the city bought for P16 million in April 2002 during Lim’s first term as mayor was overpriced.
But Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., on Feb. 19, dismissed the complaint, saying local elective officials cannot anymore be subjected to disciplinary sanctions for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term.
Ochoa cited a decision by the Supreme Court in the 1950s (Pascual v Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija), which said: “The underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct.”
“In this case, the complaint took place in 2002, or prior to the present term of [Lim],” Ochoa said. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon