Capiz mayor suspended for 3 months for simple misconduct

By Felipe V Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the 3-month suspension without pay of the mayor of President Roxas, Capiz for a simple misconduct case filed by a former vice mayor in 2023.

Associate Ombudsman Arita Lapitan directed Capiz Gov. Fredenil Oto Castro to immediately implement the suspension order meted out against Mayor Receliste Escolin.

In a three-page Order of Implementation dated December 1, 2023 but made available only recently, the Ombudsman directed Castro to implement the decision with a request to submit the compliance certificate to the office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.

“Wherefore, Governor Fredenil Castro is hereby directed to implement immediately the penalty herein imposed against respondent. Action taken on the order of implementation shall be reported through attached compliance report and certificate and submitted to the office of the Ombudsman within 5 days from receipt hereof of the action taken therein. Let it be known that refusal or failure of any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the office of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine or censor shall be ground for disciplinary action against said officer.”

Section 7 of Rule lll of the Rules and Procedures of the Office of the Ombudsman provides: “A decision of the office of the Ombudsman in administrative case shall be executed as a matter of course. Moreover, Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2006, issued by this office states that the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration or petition for review before the office of the Ombudsman does not operate to stay the immediate implementation of the Ombudsman decision order or resolution “.

The suspension stemmed from a case of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct filed by former vice mayor Alfonso Golero against Escolin early last year.

In a decision dated September 4, 2023, the Ombudsman only found substantial evidence that Escolin was guilty of simple misconduct.

The two cases were among the numerous charges filed by Golero and other individuals against Escolin who is now on his last term as chief executive officer of President Roxas.

In an earlier interview by the media, Escolin claimed that most of the charges were politically motivated and out to destroy his governance and political career.

He said that some of those cases were dismissed while others are still pending before the office of the Ombudsman.

The mayor has yet to comment on the Ombudsman as was not available as of writing.