Ombudsman suspends 2 Visayas local execs

THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of Mayor Susan Yap-Ang of San Isidro, Leyte, and Vice Mayor Santiago Maravillas of Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

Both local officials were found guilty of oppression and were ordered suspended without pay.

In two separate decisions, Yap-Ang was suspended without pay for six months, while Maravillas was suspended for nine months. In case of separation from service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to respondent’s six months salary.

The suspension order against Yap-Ang stemmed from her refusal to let complainant Ramonsito Viola, a member of the village council, attend the training on solid waste management in Cebu City last December 3-5, 2015.

According to Viola, “he was allegedly discriminated due to his party affiliation and was not included in the pre-payment of traveling expenses unlike his [other] colleagues.”

Records disclosed that during the barangay’s session on December 13, 2015, “it surfaced that respondent Yap-Ang ordered all barangay captains not to include in the travel order all barangay kagawads who are not politically affiliated with her.”

The Ombudsman said the “respondent’s act, that is, discriminating against complainant and not allowing him to attend the training without any reason while allowing other barangay kagawads to attend the same, constitutes an abuse of their authority amounting to oppression.”

In the case of Maravillas, then acting mayor of Escalante City, he was found to have illegally terminated the services of complainant Angel Sinadjan on January 6, 2016.

Records showed that Sinadjan occupied the position of Livestock Inspector II, a permanent position in the City Veterinarian’s office.

Sinadjan said that Maravillas' act of terminating his services and of the more than 70 employees without affording them due process is "evident of respondent’s ill-motive.”

In its decision, the Ombudsman stated that it was “a clear display of excessive use of authority."

The act of summarily dismissing complainant violates Section 36 (a), Article 9 of Presidential Decree 807 (Civil Service Decree of the Philippines) and the Administrative Code of 1987.

Oppression is defined as a misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, wrongfully inflicts upon any person any bodily harm, imprisonment or other injury. It is an act of cruelty, severity, or excessive use of authority.
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