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Licuanan, Vitriolo disagree over reinstatement to CHED post

Julito Vitriolo speaks to reporters at Malacañang in December 2016. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan and dismissed official Julio Vitriolo on Wednesday clashed anew over the latter’s post in the agency.

According to Licuanan, Vitriolo is not the current executive director of CHED.

“At the moment we do have an executive director. He has been there since appointed by the president. He has been there since June and that is Karol Mark Yee,” Licuanan said in a recorded press briefing.

In January 2017, the ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Vitriolo from his executive director post in CHED after he was found guilty of the administrative offenses of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, incompetence and inefficiency.

The charges stemmed from an alleged diploma mill program that Vitriolo failed to investigate.

READ: Ex-CHED director Vitriolo charged over 'diploma mill'

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However, last August 17, the Court of Appeals ordered the reinstatement of Vitriolo.

Despite the CA order, Licuanan said the ruling is still not yet final as complainant Oliver Felix filed a motion for reconsideration. She said the appeal should first be addressed.

“Unless we have the final executory judgment, which will come after the period of appeals then it is not executory,” Licuanan said.

Vitriolo, however, insisted that he should be reinstated immediately in respect of the CA ruling.

“The charges of gross neglect of duty grave misconduct, inefficiency, and incompetency him are dismissed for lack of substantial evidence. The petitioner is accordingly ordered reinstated immediately to his former position as executive director of the Commission on Higher Education,” Vitriolo quoted the CA ruling in a separate press conference.

Vitriolo added that the prayer for the issuance of the temporary restraining order and the writ of preliminary injunction as far as the case is concerned are rendered moot.

Last August 31, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella welcomed the CA ruling and said Vitriolo would be allowed to return his post.

"The Office of the President and the Commission on Higher Education will—of course—respect and abide by the decision and order of the Court of Appeals,” Abella previously said.

RELATED: Dismissed CHED official retakes post

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