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ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

DILG enforces Ombudsman order dismissing Tallado as Governor

/ 05:05 AM March 17, 2018

LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bicol enforced the Ombudsman order dismissing Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado for a 2012 abuse of authority case.

Elouisa Pastor, DILG regional director, served the dismissal order to Tallado at the governor’s office in the provincial capitol building in Daet town, Camarines Norte.

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Tallado’s dismissal stemmed from a case filed by Edgardo Gonzales, who had been terminated by Tallado in 2012 from the office of the provincial veterinarian and transferred to the public information office.

Tallado and his coaccused —provincial legal officer, Sim Mata Jr., and then supervising administrative officer, Mario dela Cruz—were charged with ignoring a Civil Service Commission order to reinstate Gonzales as provincial veterinarian.

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Calm acceptance

Pastor said Tallado received the dismissal order calmly.

“We were surprised,” said Pastor. “We did not see any resistance from the governor,” she said.

“Maybe it was a manifestation of acceptance,” she added.

Pastor said the Ombudsman elevated the charges against Tallado from grave abuse of authority to grave misconduct because of the ousted governor’s defiance of previous Ombudsman orders.

Pastor said aside from unseating Tallado as governor, the Ombudsman also penalized him with perpetual disqualification from holding public office and barring him from taking civil service exams.

The Ombudsman also forfeited all retirement benefits that Tallado was supposed to receive, Pastor added.

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Tallado had filed a petition at the Court of Appeals seeking a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the Ombudsman order dismissing him.

Not giving up

Camarines Norte Vice Gov. Jonah Pimentel was also served an order directing him to take over the post of governor, while Arthur Michael Canlas, provincial board member, would assume the post of vice governor.

Tallado told the Inquirer in a phone interview that he honored the order, meaning he had voluntarily vacated the post for Pimentel to take over.

He said “there is still remedy and the decision of the Ombudsman is not final.”

He added he would continue to contest the decision and exhaust all legal means to overturn the Ombudsman order.

Tallado is on his third term as governor of Camarines Norte. He was first elected in 2010. —MAR S. ARGUELLES AND JUAN ESCANDOR JR.

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TAGS: abuse of authority case, Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado, Ombudsman
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