Cebu News

CA junks Nelson Garcia’s motion

Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  For lack of merit, the Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the motion for reconsideration former Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia has filed questioning the decision clearing incumbent Mayor Gamaliel Gica for alleged tampering of receipts.

“Wherefore, premises considered, both motions for reconsideration are denied for lack of merit,” wrote Assistant Justice Marilyn Lagura-Yap of the CA.

The CA has released the resolution last April 10.

In July 2017, the CA has decided that the case against Gica be reversed and set aside on the basis of the Aguinaldo doctrine, also known as condonation doctrine.

It stipulates that a public official is forgiven for his negative acts once he is re-elected by the same voting population for the same position.

Garcia argued that Gica cannot use the Aguinaldo doctrine as a basis for the condonation of a misconduct allegedly done by the latter in 2014.

“With due respect, this honorable court erred in applying the Aguinaldo Doctrine to the case of petitioner Efren Guntrano Gica in disregard of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Carpio-Morales Vs Court of Appeals and Mayor Binay, GR no 217126-27, November 10, 2015,” Garcia wrote in his MR.

The CA ruled that the Aguinaldo Doctrine is still applicable to Gica because it was still in effect by the time of the commission of the act.

“It is indisputable that the test for determining whether or not the condonation doctrine can still be applied is the date of the institution of action and not the date when the official is re-elected,” ruled Lagura-Yap.

The subject receipt is dated July 15, 2014. Aguinaldo doctrine was nullified in 2015. Gica was re-elected as mayor in 2016.

“The doctrine still applies to him. Thus, we see no persuasive reason to depart from our previous findings,” read the CA resolution.

Gica said he is pleased with the development of the case.

“I did not steal P10,000 and I did not falsify the receipt. I won the case and I will win the cases filed against me because it is all fabricated allegations. The Garcias are masters in the art of MUGNA-MUGNA,” he told THE FREEMAN in a text message.

He also filed a request for the CA to direct the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “control the conduct” of its personnel who reportedly insist on implementing a decision that has reached its date of validity.

“Control the conduct of respondent, DILG regional and provincial directors, who without leave and apparent authority, arrogated unto themselves the decision (dismissal of Gica) dated July 27, 2017,” he wrote.

In response, the CA directed the DILG to send a written comment about Gica's motion within 10 days.

The FREEMAN tried but failed to get Garcia's comment.  —  GAN (FREEMAN)

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