TORIL barangay captain Wilmar Echavez Al-ag has petitioned the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City to review the Ombudsman’s decision last year regarding a one-year suspension against him.
Al-Ag, through his counsel Luwill Al-ag, in his petition said Ombudsman in Mindanao ignored the evidence he and his witnesses presented and relied solely on the allegations of one Alejandro Catipay Jr., who accused him of misconduct and oppressive behavior.
He said the Ombudsman in Mindanao even ignored his request for the conduct of a formal investigation through a conference, saying the September 30 decision on his one-year suspension was imposed immediately without awaiting the lapse of the 15-day period to appeal.
The petition also pointed out that the decision came out in the newspaper of general circulation in the October 12, 2009 issue while records showed that the decision was released from the Ombudsman records section only on that day.
He said that such eventuality only showed the decision was already revealed to the media even before it was released, adding that he cannot help but presume that other factors might have influenced it other than the real merits of the case.
He appealed that a temporary restraining order and writ of injunction be issued restraining the implementation of the said order.
Al-ag was earlier suspended for one year without pay for misconduct and oppressive behavior penned by Samuel P. Naungayan, graft investigation and prosecution officer of the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao.
Oppression, as defined by the decision, is an act of cruelty, severity, unlawful exaction, domination, or excessive use of authority. This particular offense is usually committed by a superior officer over a subordinate of a public servant over a private citizen.
On the other hand, simple misconduct was defined as a transgression of some established or definite rule of action, more particularly unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the public officer.
"Simple misconduct covers a whole gamut of violation of law or norms of behavior or deviations therefrom," Naungayan ruled.
The case, based on the statements of the complainant, a certain Alejandro Catipay Jr., showed the incident took place on October 3, 2008, when the barangay captain laid a hand on him, illegally detained him, and illegally searched his car and confiscated his gun, charges which the barangay captain may be held liable for.
The allegations of Catipay also showed that Al-ag projected himself as an upright public servant who was merely performing his official duty as barangay captain to amicably settle the conflict between the complainant and a certain Kelvin Concepcion.