Sereno: Condoning admin liability of local exec is wrong | Inquirer News

Sereno: Condoning admin liability of local exec is wrong

/ 08:33 PM April 21, 2015

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Allowing a local government official to be condoned of administrative liability is wrong, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said during the continuation of the oral argument on the validity of the Court of Appeals’ ruling that stopped the implementation of the suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Binay was preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the overpriced parking building.


Binay went to the Court of Appeals and questioned the suspension order. In his petition, he cited the case of Aguinaldo v. Santos where the Supreme Court ruled that “a public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him thereof.”

But Sereno said it is high time to correct the 1959 condonation doctrine “that was based on a bad case law.”


“It is the duty of this court to promote honesty and integrity in public service and because the Constitution is first and foremost our most important document and covenant that we must uphold,” Sereno said.

Binay counsel Sandra Marie Coronel said “we are only asking the court to apply what has been provided in extant jurisprudence.”

Based on records of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) there are 690,502 elected officials during the 2013 elections.

Sereno pointed out that condonation is dangerous because anyone among the 690,000 local officials with pending administrative case will only have to be reelected to be free from any administrative liability.

“With all due respect, your honor, I think it is not fair to presume that all 690,000 officials are going to plunder this country and get away by reelection,” Coronel, a former student of Sereno at the UP College of Law, said.

Sereno said a total of P389 billion Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) will be given to local government units around the country. In 2014, P341 billion have been disbursed.

IRA, Sereno said  came from the national internal revenue taxes paid by people all over the country.


“What is the point is that you are now saying taxpayers are condoning the administrative liability of Mayor Binay who was elected by the voters of Makati,” Sereno asked.

“I am not saying that,” Coronel said.

Sereno said “so all Filipinos no matter how much the pain, if there is malfeasance, if there is a gross dishonesty with respect to the IRA given to the city of Makati, their rights to an administrative disciplinary measure against officials of Makati will have to give way because the mayor was reelected.”

The high court also questioned why the young Binay was not present in the hearing.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen asked if the case is important to him.

The high court wrapped up the oral arguments and gave both parties 30 days to submit their memoranda.

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TAGS: corruption, Junjun Binay, News, Supreme Court, suspension order
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