Sacked Customs cop chief: I’m back to work now
MANILA, Philippines—Dismissed Customs police chief Jose Yuchongco defended his reinstatement by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez shortly before she resigned, saying he won his appeal based on its merits.
“I filed a motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman and I won it through the merits of my case. This is like a reappointment,” Yuchongco said in a phone interview.
“I think they went through my 30-year record in government and were convinced by my arguments. You just can’t influence them,” he added.
Yuchongco dismissed as baseless the accusations that he had amassed ill-gotten fortune while at the Bureau of Customs.
“That’s nothing. I explained that in my motion which I filed more than two months ago,” he said.
Yuchongco said he immediately filed a motion for reconsideration after receiving the Ombudsman’s order dismissing him from government service on Feb. 14.
“That was Valentine’s Day. It was painful. That’s why I immediately filed my motion after receiving a copy of the order from the Ombudsman,” he said.
Yuchongco said he reported back to work and personally went to Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez to tell him what happened.
Back to work
“The order was effective the day it was issued, so I’m back to work now,” he said.
Yuchongco also said the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction over the case because he had withdrawn his motion for certiorari in the appellate court.
“It was not an appeal but a motion for certiorari to stop the Ombudsman’s order because I was questioning why it was only (former Deputy Ombudsman) Mark Jalandoni who signed it,” Yuchongco said.
“I’m a veteran investigator and I noticed that in other dismissal orders there are usually five signatories but here it was only Mark Jalandoni, so I questioned that. But I withdrew it later,” he added.
He maintained that all the charges against him were fabrications by people who were hurt by the war he waged against smugglers.
“My reinstatement is well-deserved and based solely on the merits of the arguments and pieces of evidence put together by my lawyers,” he said.
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