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Condonation Doctrine should not be abandoned, say 3 justices

/ 05:28 PM November 13, 2015

The doctrine giving free pass from administrative liability if reelected should not be abandoned, according to three Supreme Court Associate Justices.

The Condonation Doctrine was first introduced by the high court in 1959. The  doctrine 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.

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The high court abandoned the doctrine when it decided on the appeal filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against the restraining order on the implementation of the first preventive suspension order on dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

In a 10-page concurring and dissenting opinion released Friday, Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, together with Associate Justices Jose Perez and Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, said “this controversy does not call for the revisit of the doctrine, and does not warrant its eventual abandonment. For the Court to persist in the re-examination, as it does now, and to announce its abandonment of the doctrine despite the lack of the premise of justiciabiity is to indulge in conjecture or in unwarranted anticipation of future controversies.”

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The three justices agreed that the Condonation Doctrine was misapplied in the Binay case by the appeals court because it should have been applied when facing permanent removal from office and not while the official is being the subject of an investigation.

The high court abandoned the ruling, noting that it lacks basis in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and law.

The majority, however, ruled that the application of the abandonment should be prospective.

The high court said abandonment of the doctrine is prospective, meaning it can no longer be invoked in future cases.

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TAGS: Binay case, condonation doctrine, Judiciary, Supreme Court
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