Ombudsman upholds condonation doctrine
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has upheld a legal doctrine raised by Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay to resist his six-month suspension last March in connection with corruption charges.
In a statement on Tuesday, Morales announced she had ordered former Muntinlupa mayor Aldrin San Pedro and 12 of his subordinates charged with graft, a criminal offense, for unlawfully awarding a P20-million contract to a trolley bag supplier in 2008.
Morales said she had ordered 11 of San Pedro’s coaccused dismissed from service since they were found to be administratively liable for the questioned transaction. She also ordered their retirement benefits forfeited and banned them from holding public office for life. The 12th coaccused has died.
“As for San Pedro, his administrative liability was rendered moot and academic owing to his reelection in the same position in 2010,” she said, referring to a Supreme Court doctrine that condones the administrative liability of an elected public official for a past offense once that official is reelected for a fresh term.
Binay raised the condonation doctrine during the Supreme Court oral arguments last April as he sought to stop the Ombudsman from carrying out her order to suspend him for six months in connection with investigations into alleged irregularities in the Makati city hall carpark construction project.
Binay secured a restraining order from the Court of Appeals to stop the suspension.
In essence, his contention was that if the condonation doctrine prevents him from being removed from office for administrative liability, he cannot also be suspended for six months.
In the last 2013 elections, San Pedro narrowly lost to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi.–Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.