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 ‘Condonation doctrine’ junked; pols now can’t escape admin case via re-election

/ 07:48 PM November 11, 2015

POLITICIANS can no longer invoke re-election to escape administrative liability.

This, after the Supreme Court has abandoned the condonation doctrine which was first introduced in a high court ruling in 1959.

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Condonation doctrine ruling states that re-elected officials cannot be held administratively liable for offenses during a previous term because their re-election meant their constituents have already forgiven them for their offenses.

“The Court simply finds no legal authority to sustain the condonation doctrine in this jurisdiction. As can be seen from this discourse, it was a doctrine adopted from one class of US rulings way back in 1959 and thus, out of touch from—and now rendered obsolete by the current legal regime,” the high court said.

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“In consequence, it is high time for this Court to abandon the condonation doctrine,” the high court said.

High Court’s Information Chief Theodore Te clarified at a press conference Wednesday that “the abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be prospective in application.”

“The Court of Appeals’ reliance on the cases invoking the condonation doctrine did not constitute grave abuse of discretion,” Te said.

The high court added that the Court of Appeals did not err in considering the condonation doctrine in acting on the petition of suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Binay raised the condonation doctrine as part of his defense when he appealed the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension issued against him in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati Parking Building.

“The Ombudsman contended that it was inappropriate for the CA to have considered the condonation doctrine since it was a matter of defense which should have been raised and passed upon by her office during the administrative disciplinary proceedings.”

“The Court, however, agreed with the CA that ‘it (CA) was not precluded from considering the same since it was material to the propriety of according provisional injunctive relief in conformity with existing case law.’ Since condonation was raised by respondent Binay Jr. in his Petition,” the high court said.

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At the same time, the high court ordered the appeals court to act on Binay’s appeal against his suspension due to the most recent Ombudsman order dismissing him from service.

“Considering that the Ombudsman, on Oct. 9, 2015 had already found Binay Jr. administratively liable and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal, which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, for the present administrative charges against him, the said CA petition ought to be dismissed on the ground of mootness…,” the high court added.

The high court also ordered the appeals court to resolve the contempt case filed by Binay against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and several police officials.

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TAGS: condonation doctrine, Junjun Binay, Nation, news, Supreme Court
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