Eastern Samar town has two mayors
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—The town of Taft in Eastern Samar now has two mayors.
Embattled Mayor Francisco Adalim of Taft, Eastern Samar, was able to secure a temporary restraining order from the court, suspending the implementation of the ruling dismissing him from the service.
Despite the temporary restraining order, the Department of Interior and Local Government in Eastern Visayas (DILG-8) continued to recognize Vice Mayor Diego Lim as acting mayor.
Adalim continues to report to his office on the second floor of Municipal Hall. Lim goes to his office on the third floor of the same building.
But Lim said he had been recognized as the mayor of Taft by all the department heads, including the chief of the local police and several banking institutions.
He said he would continue to serve as acting mayor unless stopped by the DILG.
Adalim was found guilty of grave misconduct by the Ombudsman-Visayas on Oct. 14, 2011, for refusing to reinstate the 25 employees he dismissed in August 2005 despite an order from the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Its decision was affirmed by the Office of the Ombudsman on April 12, 2012.
Pedro Noval, DILG-8 director, personally served the DILG Regional Office No.8 memorandum dated April 13, which ordered Adalim to step down after he was found guilty of grave misconduct. The DILG then installed Lim as acting mayor.
But Adalim filed a petition for injunction, asking the court to nullify the DILG’s memorandum, claiming that he had the right to file a motion for reconsideration to the Ombudsman’s resolution that found him guilty of grave abuse.
When a motion for reconsideration was filed, the execution of the resolution was deemed held in abeyance as a matter of procedure, Adalim said in his five-page petition filed on April 16.
Executive Judge Elvie Lim of the RTC Branch 1 issued a three-day TRO, enjoining DILG-8 office from implementing Adalim’s dismissal from the service.
In a two-page order dated April 18, the court said the TRO was issued to allow Adalim to file a motion for reconsideration on the dismissal order and prevent any irreparable damage on the part of the petitioner.
The court said Adalim only received a copy of the Ombudsman’s decision on April 13.
Procedural due process dictates that a decision in an administrative case can only be executed when it has already attained its finality, according to the court. Here, the petitioner remained perfectly within his right to challenge the resolution by filing a corresponding motion for reconsideration thereon, the court said.
Noval said that while he respected the decision of the RTC, Adalim could not re-assume the post.
“There is no action to be restrained. We have already served the dismissal order to him (Adalim), he said on Thursday.
Noval said only the Supreme Court, not the RTC, could restrain actions made by the Ombusman.