Ombudsman suspends Escalante vice mayor for abuse of authority
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of Vice Mayor Santiago Maravillas of Escalante City, Negros Occidental, for a year after being found guilty of two counts of abuse of authority and oppression.
In a media release on Thursday, the office of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found that when Maravillas served as acting mayor, he terminated the services of two contractual employees “without due process.”
In 2015, Maravillas took over as the city mayor when the Ombudsman also suspended Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. for misconduct due to the latter’s unauthorized issuance of a check and voucher.
The contractual employees whom Maravillas terminated were Florencio Lauron and Francisca Pabuaya, who were assuming the positions of heavy equipment operator II and administrative aide II, respectively.
Maravillas terminated Lauro last Jan. 12, 2016, while Pabuaya was excluded from the payroll since Jan. 1 of the same year.
“Respondent’s act of terminating the services of complainants [Lauron and Pabuaya] without cause and without due process is a clear display of excessive use of authority,” the Ombudsman said in its order.
The consolidated decision said Maravillas’ act of summarily dismissing Lauro and Pabuaya was violative of “Section 36(a), Article IX of Presidential Decree No. 807 (Civil Service Decree of the Philippines) and Section 46, Chapter 7, Title I, subtitle a, Book V of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987) which both provide that no officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law and after due process.”
The Ombudsman also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año to implement the suspension order. /jpv