SC OKs dismissal of inspector over Manor Hotel fire

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2014 06:00 PM | Updated as of Jul 10 2014 02:00 AM

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the dismissal of a Quezon City government inspector in connection with the fire that gutted the Quezon City Manor Hotel in 2011 that led to the death of scores of individuals.

The high court's Third Division affirmed two rulings by the Court of Appeals (CA), dated March 15, 2012 and June 18, 2012, that upheld the dismissal from service meted by the Office of the Ombudsman on electrical inspector Gerardo Villasenor and the one year suspension of Engr. Rodel Mesa.

Villasenor's case involves the immediate impementation of the dismissal order against him in spite of a motion for reconsideration (MR) he filed with the anti-graft office.

Villasenor, in his petition, argued that the Ombudsman erred in implementing the order while his motion for reconsideration was yet to be resolved.

The high court, however, ruled that the MR did not stay the immediate execution of the dismissal order, citing Sec 7 Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, which states that “a decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases shall be executed as a matter of course.”

Villasenor's MR remains pending with the anti-graft office; the high court said Villasenor would be awarded full back wages and other benefits in the event that he wins his appeal.

Seventy-four individuals perished in the Aug 18, 2001 hotel fire.

An investigation revealed that aside from operating without the necessary permits, the hotel was also not subjected to safety inspections.