Court of Appeals upholds preventive suspension ruling on PDEA official

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2018 04:10 AM

MANILA—The Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling to place under preventive suspension an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) over a graft complaint.

In a two-page resolution, the appellate court’s 17th division junked PDEA director for intelligence and investigation service Randy Pedroso’s motion for reconsideration for failure to raise new arguments to warrant a reversal of its August 2, 2017, ruling.

The Office of the Ombudsman meted the suspension order on Pedroso and five other PDEA officers in light of its probe into the allegedly anomalous lease of luxury vehicles using public funds for the top anti-drug agency’s operations from January to June 2013. 

“A circumspect review of the said motion shows that it fails to state new arguments that would compel this court to grant the prayer therein embodied . . . the issues raised therein were already considered, weighed and resolved at length by this court in the impugned decision,” the resolution stated.

“There exists no need to belabor the issues one more time.”

The CA upheld its position that the suspension order was not tainted with grave abuse of discretion, “as it was anchored on supporting documentary evidence attached to the complaint.”

The complaint was for malversation through falsification, and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Government Procurement Reform Act, on top of separate charges for grave misconduct and dishonesty.

In his petition, Pedroso claimed the Ombudsman deprived him of due process for issuing the suspension order without first reading his counter-affidavit. 

The CA, however, explained that a preventive suspension order is merely a preventive measure, not imposed as a penalty.