DILG won’t remove LP stalwart as gov as Ombudsman gives nod
ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco, a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, will remain in office despite an order dismissing him for extortion issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Tanco’s dismissal is covered by the “Aguinaldo Doctrine” and cannot be implemented, according to Anthony Nuyda, Western Visayas director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The legal doctrine extinguishes administrative cases filed against any public official during the official’s previous term if the official is reelected.
Nuyda said he received a memorandum on Tuesday from the DILG central office citing a letter from the legal services of the Ombudsman to Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento confirming that Tanco’s case is covered by the doctrine.
“We cannot implement anymore the dismissal order,” Nuyda told the Inquirer.
The Ombudsman announced on Oct. 22 that it had ordered the dismissal from service of Tanco, a Liberal Party (LP) stalwart, and his son, Vladimir, after they were found guilty of grave misconduct for extorting P3 million from Leodegario Labao Jr., owner of Kirskat Venture (Kirskat), which won a
P32.9-million contract to repair Mambusao District Hospital.
Labao filed the complaint in 2011 but Tanco was reelected for a third term in the 2013 elections.
The dismissal order was supposed to be immediate and executory even if under appeal.
The DILG implemented the dismissal of Vladimir but sought clarification from the Ombudsman whether Tanco’s case is covered by the doctrine.
The Supreme Court last month abandoned the “condonation doctrine,” which was first introduced in the high court ruling in 1959.
Nuyda said the criminal charges related to the case against the Tancos would still proceed at the Sandiganbayan.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause against the Tancos for violation of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
The Ombudsman had lent credence to the allegations of Labao that the contractor issued a P3-million check to Vladimir which was personally delivered to the governor’s residence.
Vladimir had demanded the amount in exchange for the release of payments for the hospital project. The demand was also accompanied by a threat that Kirskat would be blacklisted as a contractor if Labao failed to pay the amount, the Ombudsman had said.
Tanco, who is serving his third and last term as governor, has not issued a statement on the case.
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) earlier decried the delay in the implementation of suspension or dismissal orders against administration allies in contrast with cases against officials and candidates of the UNA and the opposition.
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