CA affirms suspension of Batangas university president

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Dec 11 2013 01:29 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2013 09:29 PM

BATANGAS – The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the earlier decision of the Office of the Ombudsman suspending Batangas State University (BSU) president Dr. Nora Magnaye.

In an 11-page decision of the Special Fifth Division of the Court of Appeals signed by Associate Justices Leoncia Real-Dimagiba, Ricardo Rosario and Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla, the appellate court upheld the March 30, 2009 decision of the Ombudsman suspending Magnaye for six months and one day starting November 8, 2013.

Magnaye's case stemmed from the complaint filed by former BSU president Dr. Ernesto De Chavez on February 26, 2007 for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, grave misconduct and oppression.

Also included in the complaint sheet were high-ranking university officials Engr. Rogelio Antenor, Dr.Leticia Macalalad and Baldomero Gutierrez.

Last March 30, 2009, the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon found Magnaye guilty of oppression while Antenor, Macalalad and Gutierrez were acquitted for lack of merit.

In his complaint, De Chavez, whose term as BSU president ended last April 17, 2006, has applied for a teaching position at the BSU Graduate School which was approved by the Board of Regents.

However, De Chavez claimed that Magnaye prevented him from entering the BSU campus to teach. He was also barred from entering his old office to get his personal belongings.

De Chavez also alleged that the BSU accounting office has stopped the payment of his salary from June to December 2006 upon Magnaye's orders.

This prompted De Chavez to file a formal compliant to the Ombudsman against Magnaye. The Ombudsman, in its March 30, 2009 decision, found Magnaye guilty and slapped her with a six months and one day suspension.

Magnaye then filed a motion for reconsideration and supplemental motion for reconsideration last July 29 and August 29, 2010 before the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman then ordered the reversal of its earlier decision against Magnaye for lack of evidence and directed the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to recall the suspension order against Magnaye.

In response, De Chavez filed a complaint before the CA against the Ombudsman after allegedly exonerating Magnaye without any legal and factual bases.

Magnaye said she is not bothered by the CA's decision.

"It’s not yet final, we can still go to the Supreme Court," Magnaye said.

"Sa dami kong ginagawa mang-o-oppress pa ba ako? Walang akong ginawang oppression against him but of course they can fabricate lies."

Magnaye's term as BSU president will end on July 2014.

"Sadyang ganyan ang buhay. Di mawawalan ng tao na ‘di tumitigil. Di ako na-bo-bother dahil kita nyo naman kung paano ko binago ang mukha ng BSU,” she said.

Magnaye said she has yet to read the CA decision.

"Ipanaubaya ko na sa mga abogado ko ang susunod na magiging aksyon namin, basta ipagpapatuloy ko na lang ang aking trabaho bilang BSU president," she said.