By Felipe V Celino
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – “The suspension order is not yet final and executory”.
This was the reaction of President Roxas, Capiz Mayor Receliste “Tanoy” Escolin pertaining to the 3-month suspension order meted out by the Office of the Ombudsman against him for a simple misconduct case filed by a former vice mayor in 2017.
In his Facebook live interview on Monday, January 29, Escolin said that he already filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration with prayer to hold in abeyance the execution of the Order of Implementation issued by Assistant Ombudsman Parita Lapitan.
The Ombudsman order directed Capiz Gov. Fredenil Castro to immediately implement the suspension order against Escolin.
Escolin said that the two cases for grave abuse of authority and for grave misconduct filed by former vice mayor now Cabug-cabug punong barangay Alfonso Golero were dismissed.
Escolin said the suspension for a simple misconduct case is too harsh.
“Considering that it is a first offense, it should be warning or reprimand and not suspension,” the mayor stressed.
He asked his critics to wait for the final decision of the Ombudsman before judging him. He also asked his constituents not to worry as he is still performing his duty as chief executive of the town.
Reports indicated that Castro could not yet implement the suspension order as he has yet to receive a copy of the resolution.
It was learned that the governor was in Manila for an important transaction.
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 Golero against Escolin in 2017 after the latter went outside Capiz without a travel order.
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.