Solon asks CA to stop his dismissal
BAGUIO CITY—Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from implementing a January order that dismissed him from government service.
The Ombudsman, in a resolution last week, affirmed its Jan. 16 decision, which found Baguilat guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty for making numerous foreign trips, during his term as governor between 2007 and 2009, without advising the provincial board.
Then Ifugao Vice Gov. Norma Dinamling and eight board members filed the complaint against Baguilat in 2009. The recent Ombudsman resolution addressed a motion for reconsideration that Baguilat’s lawyers filed in May.
Baguilat said he had contested the decision, signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, saying his foreign trips were intended to draw investments to Ifugao and to secure help to restore the province’s rice terraces.
He said a criminal complaint related to those trips had been dropped.
“We appealed to the Court of Appeals, and we are ready to go to the Supreme Court,” Baguilat said in a text message on Sunday.
He said the Ombudsman’s order referred to his post as governor, so the penalty of dismissal would have been rendered moot.
A copy of the order, however, was circulated during the campaign period for the May 13 elections.
Baguilat, a Liberal Party member, was reelected, beating former Rep. Solomon Chungalao. However, Baguilat’s proclamation was almost stalled by debates on whether the Ombudsman’s order had an impact on the results of the lone congressional district race in Ifugao this year.
In an earlier interview, lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, former Cordillera director of the Commission on Elections, said he suspended Baguilat’s proclamation after being informed of a pending Comelec resolution pertaining to the Ombudsman case.
However, the Comelec resolution was not transmitted to the regional office, paving the way for Baguilat’s proclamation.
“Our opponents could not accept the fact that despite their stupendous vote-buying and black propaganda [during the May 13 elections], they still lost big. So now, they’re using technicalities to usurp the people’s will,” Baguilat said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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