SC dismisses case vs ex-SBMA exec after nearly 10 years
MANILA, Philippines — The First Division of the Supreme Court declared as invalid the 90-day suspension slapped against Stefani Saño, former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority official, nearly a decade ago.
Saño, former SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Business and Investment, was suspended by former chairman Roberto V. Garcia after he was dragged into the questionable shipment of 420,000 bags of Indian rice back in April 2012.
Saño appealed his 90-day suspension before the high court claiming he was denied due process. He asserted there was no preliminary investigation conducted by the SBMA prior to his suspension.
The SC First Division later gave merit to Saño’s argument, saying that the order of suspension was issued without complying with the requirements and processes laid down under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS).
The Court also ruled that “the questioned 90-day preventive suspension lapsed without an injunctive relief from a court of law… the issue of the propriety of the preventive suspension is still a justiciable issue,” thereby granting the former SBMA official to back pay.
“The payment of back salaries owed to Stefani C. Saño shall be either in the form of leave credits, if he is still active in government service, OR leave credits monetized at the current rate for the position he formerly occupied, at his option,” the court ruled.
Saño was glad that the case has finally been resolved.
“The favorable decision of the Supreme Court brings joy not only to me but also to my family, colleagues and friends who all suffered because of the unjust and atrocious treatment I got from certain officials of a previous administration of the SBMA. We all feel relieved with this vindication,” Saño said in a statement.
“The emphasis is on due process. This is a constitutional right which cannot be violated by anyone.”
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