Court upholds decision to dismiss Daneco execs-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
THE Court of Appeals (CA) in Cagayan de Oro City prohibited some members of the board of directors of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) to perform their tasks and duties after the National Electrification Administration (NEA) removed them from service.
In a 15-page decision penned by Associate Justice Marilyn Lagura-Yap and issued last August 29, the CA granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction filed by Gregorio T. Ybañez, Efifanio V. Alfeche, Paulito R. Villaceran Jr., George S. Monares and Juan Espernaza, member-consumers of Daneco.
The filing for injunction followed after NEA dismissed Dean Briz, Ananias Barjan, Brendo Ceniza, Miguel Fermil, Roberto Binasbas, Eugenio Ramonida, Ramon Zafra and Felix Hibionada, all members of Daneco board and are also employees of Daneco on April 30, after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.
The dismissal carries the other penalties such as cancellation of eligibility to run for the position of EC director, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in any rural electric cooperative.
The NEA also suspended Nelson Balangan, another member of the board, for 30 days after he was found guilty of simple neglect of duty.
However, the terminated employees applied for a 72-hour temporary restraining order before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. The court granted the TRO.
The RTC Branch 3 further issued an injunction against the NEA for its order of termination rendered against the members of the board.
This prompted member-consumers of Daneco to file a motion requesting the CA to issue a TRO against the order of the RTC Branch 3 and later applied for an issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
In her ruling, Yap said the member-consumers gave "more persuasive reasons" to grant the injunction "because the respondents, particularly Hibionada, occupied and took over the Daneco despite the issuance of TRO."
It added that the respondents also appointed Rey Bandala as Daneco's OIC general manager, who collects payments from the member-consumers.
"Whether true or not, this enforces the necessity for issuance of a WPI (writ of preliminary injunction). We cannot afford a scenario, that while the main case is pending, two contending factions will control Daneco," the order read.
"This will obviously be detrimental to Daneco as an institution and to its member-consumers," Yap said in her ruling.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 21, 2012.