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Complaint vs Ombudsman execs in partisan play filed

The awaited complaint against two senior officials of the Office of the Ombudsman for partisan actions in cases pending before them has been filed in Malacañang.

In a 20-page complaint before the Office of the President, lawyer Manuelito Luna urged that proceedings be held against Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer M. Clemente and Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices(MOLEO) Cyril E. Ramos and for them to be held administratively liable and ordered removed from office for betrayal of public trust and graft and corruption.
The complaint arose from the handling of graft charges arising from the use of financial assistance to Negros Oriental in December 2011 when it was hit by typhoon Sendong.
Other respondents, namely, graft investigators Laurrei Layne Cristobal, Anna Francesca Limbo, Ma. Bernadette Andal-Subaan and Amy Rose Soler-Rellin should also be held administratively liable for gross or grave misconduct and ordered dismiss from the service, the complaint sought.
Sometime in December 2011, the Province of Negros Oriental was hit by typhoon Sendong and the latter devastated practically the whole province. Railing from the devastation of typhoon Sendong, the province was hit by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake which terribly added to the misery of the people as it devastated the northern part of Negros Oriental.
Facing with a two natural tragedies , Gov. Roel Degamo requested financial assistance from then President Benigno Aquino for the release of financial assistance from the calamity fund. The request was granted and on June 2012, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the money to the provincial government.
The total amount approved for release was P961,550, 000 but only P498,775,000 was actually released on June 7, 2012. Subsequently, the release was supported by a Notice of Cash Allocation(NCA) which was received by the province. received by the province.

The complaint alleged that Degamo’s opponents in the province led by First District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong, a close friend and financial backer of President Aquino and who was egging to run against Degamo in the 2013 gubernatorial election, interceded and was able to convince Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to have the calamity funds already released to the provincial government of Negros Oriental withdrawn.
Abad caused the withdrawal of the calamity funds from the province through his underling, Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, who issued a negative SARO on the calamity funds.
Degamo refused to heed the order of Relampagos and questioned his authority to withdraw the funds.
In the meantime, because of the very heavy damaged and devastation in various areas of the province at that time, Degamo proceeded by means of public bidding to use the funds and disbursed the same to rehabilitate the heavily damaged infrastructures in the province. Degamo’s political opponents did not waste time, and through a certain June Vincent Manuel Gaudan filed a case for malversation and graft and corruption against Governor Degamo, the provincial treasurer Danilo Mendez and accountant Teodorico Reyes for grave misconduct.
The Ombudsman in a resolution dated January 12, 2016, found Degamo, a member of a political party opposed to the Liberal Party, and his two co-accused, Mendez and Reyes guilty of grave misconduct and were meted out the penalty of dismissal from service with accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the government service.
In the case of Gov. Degamo however, the verdict of guilty against him was lifted by the Ombudsman because of his re-election as governor in the 2013 election, applying the condonation doctrine.
Both parties filed separate motions for reconsideration (MR) on the Ombudsman Resolution. Degamo, Mendez and Reyes filed theirs on April 13, 2016, while Gaudan filed his on April 21, 2016.
On May 16, 2016, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales denied the appeal of Degamo, Torres and Reyes, but granted the appeal of Gaudan .
In the order favoring Gaudan’s motion for reconsideration the Ombudsman resolved that Degamo, Mendez and Reyes are to be charged with violation of RA 3019 in the Sandiganbayan and on the administrative case, it found Degamo guilty of grave misconduct and lifted the application of the condonation doctrine earlier granted on him.
The Ombudsman’s ruling stated that in view of the Morales v. CA and Binay case which was decided by the Supreme Court in G.R. No 217126-27 on November 10, 2015, the condonation doctrine is no longer applicable to Degamo because, to the Ombudsman’s interpretation, the Supreme Court’s abandonment of the condonation doctrine has a retroactive effect, thus, even if the offense charged against Degamo was committed way back in 2012 and he was re-elected in 2013, it is of no moment.
Degamo disagreed with the Ombudsman’s ruling, thus he went to the Court of Appeals through a Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.
Initially, on, June 23, 2016, the Court of Appeals (CA)issued a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman. An oral argument was set on July 12, 2106, and after a thorough and careful study, the CA rendered a decision favoring Degamo and which reversed the Ombudsman and said Degamo is not guilty of grave misconduct.
The Ombudsman’s order penalizing Degamo of dismissal from service was set aside, and instead held him liable only for simple misconduct with a penalty of suspension for one to six months.”
“It would seem that the Office of the Ombudsman(Visayas) and Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer M. Clemente have unduly targeted Gov. Degamo for investigation judging from their blitzkrieg and questionable actions on the complaints of Siefredo G. Renacia.
“It has also been noted that while the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) and Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Clemente have been swiftly, indiscriminately and questionably acting on practically any and all complaints against Gov. Degamo filed by different personalities, they have been sitting on the complaint of Alberto Sabanal, et al. against the governor’s political rival, Negros Oriental First District Representative Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong,”

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