CA denies Gwen prayer for TRO
The Court of Appeals has denied the petition for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed by Cebu third district Representative Gwendolyn Garcia to halt the implementation of her dismissal from service ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a 9-page resolution signed by Associate Justice Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga, the Nineteenth Division of the appellate court found “no merit and urgency in the allegations for the immediate issuance of a TRO.”
In her petition, Garcia said she should not be dismissed from office as it would put all her projects in Cebu’s third district stalled.
“By reason of the gravity of the penalty imposed, being dismissal from service with cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in government service, Petitioner Cong. Garcia is at the point of suffering irreparable damages,” an excerpt of Garcia’s petition said.
But the resolution dated August 24 said Garcia failed to establish the irreparable injury that she may suffer if the TRO or a Writ of Injunction will not be issued.
Cebu Daily News tried but failed to get a statement from Garcia.
The Office of the Ombudsman found Garcia administratively liable for entering into a contract for filling materials to reclaim submerged portions of the controversial P98-million Balili property in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City, without the authority from the Provincial Board, while she was still Cebu governor.
Garcia was meted a penalty of dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Whether or not the penalty is implemented remains in the hands of House Speaker Glorial Macapagal Arroyo.
The case was filed by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and late board member Arleigh Jay Sitoy.
The Ombudsman said that Garcia was not authorized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to enter into contracts with ABF Construction for the supply and delivery of backfilling materials for the submerged and mangrove portions of the lot.
During Garcia incumbency as governor of Cebu, the Capitol released a total of P24,468,927.66 to ABF Construction for the supply and deliver of the backfilling materials.
The lady lawmaker filed a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman but was dismissed last July 18.
Garcia went to the CA and filed a petition for review, with a prayer for the issuance of the TRO or a Writ of Injunction.
The CA denied the prayer for a TRO and instead gave Davide, Magpale and the Office of the Ombudsman 10 days to comment on the Petition for Review.
Garcia will also be given five days to reply after receipt of the comments.
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