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AFTER CONDONATION DOCTRINE JUNKED

Ombudsman affirms Camarines Norte Governor Tallado’s suspension

/ 01:21 PM December 10, 2015
Tallado

Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado. JUAN ESCANDOR JR./INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON FILE PHOTO

The Ombudsman affirmed the suspension of the Camarines Norte governor earlier embroiled in a sex scandal for his refusal to comply with a Civil Service Commission (CSC) order.

READ: CamNorte gov suspended for failing to comply with CSC order

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In a statement Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales thumbed down the claim of the condonation doctrine of Governor Edgardo Tallado, who was found guilty of oppression/grave abuse of authority.

He was meted out with a one-year suspension in connection with his administrative offense of refusing to comply with a CSC order to reinstate provincial veterinarian Edgardo Gonzales last November 2013.

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Morales junked Tallado’s insistence to apply the condonation doctrine and denial of due process. Under the condonation doctrine, a public official may be spared of his or her administrative liability by virtue of his or her reelection in office.

The Ombudsman said “the questioned act persisted even after reelection.” Furthermore, “records show that Tallado’s defiance of Civil Service Commission’s directive to reinstate Gonzales extended up to his present term of office.”

Morales added that the respondents “were given the opportunity to be heard” and that “they failed to present grounds or evidence to merit a modification or reversal of the assailed [suspension] order.”

Also found administratively liable were Tallado’s co-accused Sim Mata Jr. (Provincial Legal Officer) and Mario dela Cruz (Supervising Administrative Officer), who were suspended for one year without pay.

“The series of acts committed by Tallado and Mata, together with dela Cruz, against Gonzales squarely fall under Oppression/Grave Abuse of Authority,” the Ombudsman said in its order dated Oct. 2.

Tallado may be among the first officials who may no longer escape liability because of the condonation doctrine, after the Supreme Court junked the condonation doctrine which was first introduced in a high court ruling in 1959.

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

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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.

Makati mayor Junjun Binay, the son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, first raised the issue of the condonation doctrine when he was indicted for graft and sacked from office for the alleged overprice and rigging of the Makati parking building.

READ: Junjun Binay can still invoke condonation doctrine, say legal experts

Binay said the Ombudsman could not dismiss him by virtue of his reelection in office. The Ombudsman appealed the condonation doctrine to the Supreme Court.

Tallado was first embroiled in a sex scandal controversy with an alleged mistress when his wife went missing for five days only to surface again blowing the lid on the scandal.

READ: Camarines Norte governor’s wife, aide seen at hotel

The governor first sought the help of government authorities in locating his wife, who he said drove out with a staff member to a supposed meeting with village officials before both of them disappeared last Oct. 17, 2014.

When she surfaced five days later, the wife Josie Tallado said she had escaped because her husband held her in house arrest and cut all her communications. She said she discovered a sex video of her husband, who got mad and accused her of uploading the video on the Internet.

Tallado has since apologized for the video, appealing to his detractors not to use it against him because it had nothing to do with his work. RAM

READ: Camarines Norte governor in sex scandal apologizes

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TAGS: Camarines Norte, Civil Service Commission, Conchita Carpio-Morales, condonation doctrine, CSC, Governor Edgardo Tallado, Ombudsman
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