Malacanang dismisses case vs village chief-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
ANGELES CITY -- The Office of the President has dismissed the abuse of authority and misconduct in office cases filed before the City Council against Balibago chairman Rodelio Mamac by the owner and two managers of a night club.
In its decision dated January 18, 2013, Malacañang also ordered the setting aside of Resolution Number 6300, a decision passed by the City Council calling for Mamac’s suspension from office as village chief.
The City Council’s suspension order stemmed from the administrative case filed by Carlo Manalastas, owner of Tol’s Masaki Laser Karaoke, and his managers Federico Gregorious and Ruth Cruz against Mamac and Barangay Councilman Abel Reyes.
Manalastas and his managers were invited to the Barangay Hall after workers of the establishment were found violating Barangay Ordinance Number 02-2008, which requires residents, workers and businessmen within the village to secure barangay clearances.
Mamac said Manalastas’ workers failed to secure clearance from the barangay.
Manalastas reportedly asked Mamac to release the night club workers and promised to pay the fine P1,000 each for violation of the clearance ordinance of the barangay.
Mamac said he immediately ordered the release of the workers, but instead of paying the P1,000 for each of his employees, Manalastas asked his counsel to go to the barangay hall and refused to pay the fine.
Mamac, together with other barangay officials, then took Manalastas and Gregorious to the police station and charged them with simple resistance and disobedience to an agent of a person in authority.
On December 20, 2011, the City Council approved Resolution 6300 after finding Mamac guilty of the charges of Manalastas and his companions.
Mamac claimed, however, that the resolution was only signed by Vice Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting and not by majority of the councilors, prompting him to make an appeal before the Office of the President.
Citing the case of Estoesta versus the municipal council of Agoo, La Union, Mamac said the decision, which declared that he is guilty of the charges, should bear the signature of the Council members.
In administrative cases involving elective officials, the law requires the decisions of the council to be in writing stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the reasons for such decision, the Office of the President stated in its decision.
The resolution of the City Council does not appear to be in accord with the Local Government Code of 1991 and settled jurisprudence, the Malacañang decision stated.
“While it may appear that the resolution was voted upon by majority of the Council members, the same cannot be regarded as the decision of the SP as it is signed only b Vice Mayor Vega-Cabigting in her capacity as presiding officer of the Council. Had it been the intention of the Council to have the resolution signed by its members, spaces for their signatures would have been provided therein,” the Office of the President added.
The authority of Mamac to file criminal charges against Manalastas, Gregorious and Cruz is valid, the Malacañang decision said.
Gregorious and Cruz were charged not on the basis of their violation of the ordinance but for disobedience to the lawful order of barangay authorities including Mamac, it added.
“Resort to judicial processes, by itself, is not an evidence of ill will which would automatically make the complainant liable for malicious prosecution. In this case, there was no evidence showing malice or bad faith when respondents (Mamac and Reyes) initiated criminal action against Gregorious and Cruz,” Malacanang said.
“This Office finds no basis to hold respondents liable for abuse of authority and misconduct in office,” it added.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 31, 2013.