Negros Oriental gov returns to work after suspension, dodges dismissal

Aiza Marrie Layague, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2018 06:08 PM

 

Suspended Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo raises his fist as he returned to work on Wednesday after serving his suspension and dodging his dismissal order. Aiza Marrie Layague, ABS-CBN News

 

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Wednesday assumed office for the third time after serving a 90-day suspension and for successfully blocking his dismissal order.

Degamo again secured a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) from a division of the Court of Appeals rejecting Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales' dismissal order against him over the alleged misuse of P10-million from the intelligence fund.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Degamo's argument that the Aguinaldo doctrine applies to him.

"The Supreme Court ruled that a public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him," the resolution read.

"While the Court is aware of the Supreme Court's abandonment of the 'Aguinaldo doctrine' in the case of Morales v Court of Appeals and Binay Jr," we are equally aware that the abandonment was prospective in application," it added.

Earlier in the morning, employees as well as the supporters of Degamo welcomed his reinstatement.

He joined the flag raising ceremony inside Macias Sports Complex with employees of the capitol and his supporters who came from different towns and cities.

The legal counsel of the governor confirmed that they will be filing a damage suit against Morales, Visayas Ombudsman Paul Clemente and other officials.

Last year, the Office of the Ombudsman filed 11 counts of graft against Degamo over the alleged anomalous use of P143.268-million in calamity funds for 11 infrastructure projects.

The charges stemmed from the financial assistance Degamo requested for the rehabilitation of structures damaged by Typhoon Sendong in December 2011 and the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck in February 2012.

He is already facing 11 malversation cases at the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division over the alleged 2012 calamity fund anomaly.