Ombudsman dismisses Garcia case vs. Davide

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo September 15,2016 - 10:32 PM


The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed both criminal and administrative complaints filed against Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III by former Dumanjug mayor Nelson Garcia to question Davide’s implementation of a Provincial Board (PB) resolution suspending Garcia for six months in 2015.

The anti-graft office found no probable cause to hold Davide for trial for alleged violations of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and likewise dismissed the administrative complaints for violations of Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) and Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).

In the joint resolution approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, graft investigation and prosecution officer Maria Bernadeth Andal-Subaan said that Garcia failed to allege specific facts and circumstances showing that Davide acted with “manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross and inexcusable negligence or that he caused undue injury to any party or gave any private party unwarranted benefits,” when he directed Garcia to comply with the PB resolution suspending the mayor.

Garcia’s complaints stemmed from Davide’s order, dated April 30, 2015, directing Garcia, then mayor of Dumanjug, to heed the PB resolution suspending him for six months for grave abuse of authority and misconduct in office over the appointment of a secretary to municipal council, a power that lies with the vice mayor.

Garcia argued that Davide wrongfully implemented the board’s resolution and insisted that it is the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that is mandated by law to do so.

He also said that it was uncalled for on the part of Davide to “volunteer” in implementing the resolution.

In his counter-affidavit, Davide said that his actions were done in the regular performance of duty and within his authority, without any malice or intention to harm anyone.

Davide maintained that there was nothing irregular that can be attributed to him when he affirmed the resolution of the legislative body and directed Garcia to comply with it because the provincial board members who came up with the resolution were presumed to have regularly performed their duties.

“Verily, no conscious wrongdoing can arise from the mere act of affirming a legislative action. By itself, such affirmance does not prove evident bad faith,” the Ombudsman resolution said in dismissing Garcia’s charges against Davide.

Garcia of One Cebu lost to vice mayor Efren Gica who is now the new mayor of Dumanjug, a town in southwest Cebu.

Meanwhile, Davide retained his gubernatorial seat after winning against Garcia’s brother, Winston.

When reached for comment, the governor said that he is not surprised about the dismissal of the complaint as it was baseless.

“Wala ko nasurpresa nga na dismiss kini iyang kaso batok nako (I’m not surprised that his case against me was dismissed),” he said.

“Sa sinugdanan pa lang nahibaw ko nga walay basihan ang reklamo. Ubos sa balaod igo lang ko nipatuman sa findings sa provincial board (I’ve always known from the start that the case had no basis. Under the law, all I did was implement the findings of the provincial board)” said Davide.

“Atong gipasalamatan ang Ombudsman ani tungod ilang gipagtigbabaw ang kamatuoran (I would like to thank the Ombudsman because the truth prevailed),” the governor added.

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TAGS: ayor Nelson Garcia, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, Mayor Nelson Garcia, Ombudsman

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