Ombudsman upholds dismissal of raps vs city mayor, legal officer

(Francis Allan Angelo photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Office of the Ombudsman has affirmed the dismissal of the criminal and administrative charges against Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and City Legal Officer Edgardo J. Gil filed by a former City Hall employee.

In a joint order, dated March 1, 2023, the Ombudsman resolved to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by Rosita Celiz Camacho relative to her complaints to include the alleged violations of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act, and for grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service she filed against Treñas and Gil.

Camacho’s motion for reconsideration is relative to the Ombudsman’s joint resolution dated November 11, 2021.

The order, penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Eillen B. Lagat-Alde, noted that the issues raised by Camacho in her motion are the same as those raised in her counter-affidavit and other earlier pleadings.

“There is no need, therefore, to discuss and revisit the issues, being a mere rehash of what had already been passed upon and resolved definitively in the assailed Joint Resolution,” it added.

The anti-graft body emphasized that since Treñas and Gil were already absolved as “no administrative liability” was found against them and Camacho is “no longer entitled to any corrective recourse, whether by motion for reconsideration in the Office of the Ombudsman or by appeal to the courts, to effect the reversal of the exoneration.”

In her motion, Camacho “asserted that the dismissal of the instant case is seriously and gravely erroneous” as it contradicts the facts, records and evidence, legal precedents, and is prejudicial to her interest.

She likewise alleged that the “evidence on record materially affects the [November] joint resolution which is contradictory with respect to the ruling of lack of probable cause to indict (Treñas and Gil).”

Camacho filed the said charges against the city mayor and the city legal officer, claiming she was forced to take a leave of absence.

In their comment and opposition, Treñas and Gil insisted that the former City Hall employee failed to provide evidence that would indict them of violating section 3 (a) and (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) and section 4 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713).

They further stressed that the charges were dismissed based on the premise that Camacho was afforded due process per the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (2017 RACCS).

In 2021, Camacho was dismissed from the service for electioneering.

Camacho served as Special Operations Officer III of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs during the time of former Mayor Jose Espinosa III.