Ombudsman affirms Gwen Garcia’s dismissal
Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad , Mitchelle Palaubsanon (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Cebu third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia on its ruling dismissing her over the provincial government’s alleged anomalous purchase of a property when she was governor.

“The ombudsman stands by its ruling,” the 11-page decision released on Monday read.

Garcia was found guilty of grave misconduct for entering into a contract with ABF Construction for the provincial government’s housing and seaport projects without authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Investigation showed that 19.67 hectares of the property in Barangay Tiga-an, Naga, Cebu were submerged in water and not suitable for human settlement and the construction of an international seaport.

The ombudsman said the condonation doctrine does not apply to Garcia, noting that those who elected her as congresswoman were not the same as those who voted for her as governor.

“This office cannot be ousted from jurisdiction simply because respondent became a member of Congress while the case was still pending,” the ombudsman said in response to Garcia’s claim that it has “no residual administrative disciplinary authority” over members of Congress.

Garcia said she would appeal the ombudsman ruling.

She claimed former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who signed the resolution, was incapable of rendering a fair and just decision due to her closeness to former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr.

Garcia’s dismissal stemmed from a complaint filed by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
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