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Ombudsman suspends Leyte mayor for oppression

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the six-month suspension of San Isidro, Leyte Mayor Susan Yap-Ang for supposedly discriminating against barangay councilor who was not a member of her political party.
 
In a decision recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Ang was found guilty of the administrative offense of oppression and was ordered suspended without pay for six months.
 
The suspension order stemmed from her alleged refusal to let complainant Ramonsito Viola, a member of the Sangguniang Baranggay (barangay council) attend a three-day training on solid waste management held in Cebu City on December 3-5, 2015.
 
In his complaint, Viola said “he was discriminated due to his party affiliation and was not included in the pre-payment of travelling expenses unlike his [other] colleagues.”
 
The ombudsman said investigation revealed that Yap-Ang explicitly ordered that all barangay councilors must attend the seminar except all those “who are not politically affiliated with her”.
 
“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,” the ombudsman said.

Negros Occidental ex-mayor fined over illegal termination

Meanwhile, in a separate decision the ombudsman also imposed a suspension for nine months against former Escalante City, Negros Occidental vice mayor Santiago Maravillas.
 
The ombudsman clarified that since Maravillas is no longer in office, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to his months’ salary.
 
The ombudsman said that on January 6 last year, Maravillas, who was then temporarily acting as mayor, illegally terminated the services of complainant Angel Sinadjan.
 
Records showed that Sinadjan occupied the position of Livestock Inspector II, a permanent position in the City Veterinarian’s office.
 
According to complainant, “respondent’s act of terminating his services and of the more than 70 employees without affording them due process is evident of respondent’s ill-motive.”
 
“Respondent’s act of terminating the services of complainant without cause and due process is a clear display of excessive use of authority. The act of summarily dismissing complainant violates Section 36 (a), Article IX of Presidential Decree No. 807 (Civil Service Decree of the Philippines and the Administrative Code of 1987),” the ombudsman said.
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