CA sustains dismissal of Gwen’s admin raps
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - October 30, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Court of Appeals sustained its previous ruling that absolved Cebu third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of any administrative liability arising from the Capitol’s purchase of the controversial Balili Estate during her incumbency as governor of Cebu.  

Associate Justice Gabriel T. Ingles of the CA special 18th division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by one of the complainants, Crisologo Saavedra, for lack of merit.

Saavedra sought a reconsideration of the appellate court’s ruling setting aside the January 13, 2013 decision of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas that found Garcia guilty of grave misconduct.

“There being no cogent or compelling reason to reverse, much less, modify the decision rendered in this case, the instant motion for reconsideration are hereby denied for utter lack of merit,” Ingles ruled.

Ingles maintained that the re-election of Garcia in 2010 rendered the administrative complaint against her moot and academic under the Aguinaldo Doctrine.

“It should be noted that even courts are, as a rule, not allowed to decide moot and academic cases. The case or controversy needs to be actual. By analogy, in the exercise of quasi-judicial power, quasi-judicial bodies can only act on a controversy that is actual. Thus, when there is condonation of the public officer’s alleged misconduct, the controversy ceases to be actual, becomes moot and academic,” the appellate court’s ruling read.

Ingles cited the Supreme Court decision in the case of Salumbides, et.al. v. Office of the Ombudsman, et.al. to support his ruling, which the other associate justices concurred.

Garcia earlier filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Court of Appeals assailing the anti-graft body’s decision finding her liable of grave misconduct along with former PB Member Juan Bolo, former provincial assessor Anthony Sususco, former provincial treasurer Roy Salubre, former provincial engineer Eulogio Pelayre, and former budget officer Emme Gingoyon.

On April 23, 2014, the court granted Garcia’s petition.

The case stemmed from the Capitol’s purchase in 2008 of the Balili property in Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga. The 249,246-square meter property was later found to be mostly submerged in seawater.

The criminal case is still pending before the Sandiganbayan.— (FREEMAN)

AGUINALDO DOCTRINE ANTHONY SUSUSCO ASSOCIATE JUSTICE GABRIEL T BALILI ESTATE BARANGAY TINAAN CEBU CITY OF NAGA COURT OF APPEALS CRISOLOGO SAAVEDRA GARCIA
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