THE Court of Appeals (CA) has cleared Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa from any administrative liability over the participation of a school that he owns in the city’s scholarship program.
In a decision issued on December 21, 2017, the Special Twentieth Division of the CA in Cebu City reversed two earlier decisions issued by the Office of the Visayas Ombudsman which found Abellanosa guilty of grave misconduct and ordered his dismissal from service with the accessory penalties for the cancellation of his eligibility, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and his perpetual disqualification from employment in government service.
The Ombudsman’s orders were issued on May 2014 and February 2015 respectively.
“Thank you 2017! Thank you Lord!” Abellanosa said in a Facebook post after learning of the CA decision on Sunday.
The CA upheld the doctrine of condonation in clearing Abellanosa of administrative liability.
“Petitioner’s (Abellanosa’s) election as Congressman of the South District of Cebu City during the 2013 elections renders the imposition of the administrative offense of grave misconduct moot and academic on the basis of the condonation doctrine,” read the CA decision signed by Associate Justice Geraldine Fiel-Macaraig.
The decision was also signed by Associate Justices Edgardo Delos Santos and Marilyn Lagura-Yap.
The Visayas Ombudsman earlier found Abellanosa guilty of misconduct and ordered him dismissed from public service after he represented the Asian College of Technology (ACT) and Asian College of Technology International Educational Foundation Inc. (ACTIEF) in the signing of a memoranda of agreement with the Cebu City Government over the latter’s participation in the city scholarship program in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Abellanosa was then the president, chairman of the board, founding member and “substantial owner” of ACT and ACTIEF and an elected city councilor at the same time.