CLO officials in court battle

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Friday, January 17, 2014


BACOLOD City Legal Officer (CLO) Sarah Villamor and City Accountant Ed Ravena are facing a petition for injunction with prayer for temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by Assistant City Legal Officer Omar Francis Demonteverde.

The case stemmed from Villamor’s disapproval of Demonteverde’s application for sick leave that he filed on November 13, 2013 for absences incurred on October 1, 2, 7, 16, 21, and 30.

It also includes the partial approval of his application for vacation leave filed on October 29 for November 4, 6, 7 and 8. Villamor disapproved Demonteverde’s vacation leave for November 4 and 8 but approved those for November 6 and 7.

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Demonteverde had sought to restrain both Villamor and Ravena from deducting the amount of P13,568.18 from his monthly salary supposedly resulting from his absences.

On December 13, Regional Trial Court Judge Estefanio Libutan Sr. of Branch 50 issued a TRO enjoining the defendants or any subordinate from deducting such amount.

Demonteverde is being represented by his mother, retired trial court judge Lorna Demonteverde, while Villamor, by her father, City Administrator Rolando Villamor.

During the hearing on Thursday, Lorna Demonteverde manifested their intention to withdraw the writ for prayer of preliminary injunction for being moot and academic.

Rolando Villamor said that Demonteverde accused the CLO of disrespect, dishonesty, arrogance and other derogatory statements in the case they filed, but now they will not prove their complaint. He insisted that other issues should be taken up instead.
Libutan, however, said all other matters will be heard in the hearing of the main case.

He directed both parties to submit their respective position papers within 20 days on two issues – the non-exhaustion of administrative remedies and the jurisdiction of the court, for the resolution of the case.

Villamor said they maintain that the complaint was not supposed to be filed with the trial court but with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) because both parties involved are employees of the city government and the issues involve CSC rules.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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