Former Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella filed a motion for reconsideration asking the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas that its decision dated January 21 imposing a penalty of one month and one day suspension be dismissed.
Puentevella was ordered suspended by the Ombudsman for delaying the administrative suspension of Office of the Building Official head Isidro Sun Jr. and Building Inspector Jose Maria Makilan.
Ombudsman Case No. OMB-V-A -15-0075 was filed against Puentevella, Sun, Makilan, and former City Legal Officer Rayfrando Diaz by former Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez.
While the Ombudsman dismissed the charge of misconduct against Diaz, Sun and Makilan, for lack of sufficient evidence, it found Puentevella guilty of simple misconduct and ordered him suspended for one month and one day.
On July 24, 2014, the Ombudsman issued a decision directing Puentevella to implement the suspension of Sun and Makilan after finding them guilty of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.
Puentevella received the directive from the Ombudsman to implement the suspension order on Dec. 9.
In reply, Puentevella sent a letter insisting that “in the spirit of Christmas, the effectivity of the order is set on Jan. 1, 2015.”
He issued Memorandum No. 229-12-14 dated Dec. 12, 2014 to Sun and Makilan implementing the decision by imposing the penalty of suspension without pay for six months and one day.
The following day after issuing his memorandum, Puentevella wrote the Ombudsman acknowledging the endorsement and confirming that he had issued the suspension order.
Puentvella's legal counsel Adelaida Rendon said the actuation of the former mayor showed his good faith without intent to disregard the lawful order of the Ombudsman. Obviously, he was moved with compassion to respondents Sun and Makilan because it was Christmas time and with the honest belief that his request would be granted.
Had he intended to violate the order, he would not have issued a memorandum and informed the Ombudsman about his compliance to its decision, she said.
Rendon said the Ombudsman acknowledged the letter in Omb V-C-15-0069 involving the same parties in another case for violation of Sec. 3C of RA 3019, as amended/violation of Sec. 4(a)/violation of Sec. 27 of RA 6770, which is found in the July 24, 2015 decision.
She said that by this findings and dismissal by the Office of the Ombudsman itself in Omb-V-C-15-0069, the respondent believes that the same findings and resolution should have been decreed in this case docketed as OMB-V-A-15-0075 and dismiss the case against Puentevella.
In 2015, Puentevella was also suspended for 90 days by the Sandiganbayan in connection with his graft charge over the alleged overpriced computers bought using his Priority Development Assistance Funds. Puentevella has maintained that he is innocent of the charges against him.*CGS
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