Condonation doctrine saves Ilocos Sur mayor from dismissal
The Court of Appeals (CA) has applied the controversial “condonation doctrine” in setting aside the Ombudsman’s August 2016 dismissal of Lidlidda, Ilocos Sur, Mayor Jesus Sagay.
In a recent 10-page decision, the CA said that since the complaint was filed against Sagay in July 2014, the Supreme Court’s (SC) prospective abandonment of the doctrine in November 2015 would not apply.
Thus, Sagay’s reelection in 2016 would absolve him of administrative liabilities since the town’s voters were deemed to have forgiven his alleged offense.
“Consequently, this Court is precluded from imposing the administrative sanctions against petitioner on account of the same people’s decision to elect him again to office,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Samuel Gaerlan.
Former councilor and political rival Romeo Duca accused Sagay of using the municipality’s resources to establish a “demo farm” in his sister’s lot, instead of the property identified by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB).
This prompted the council to terminate the project and demand that Sagay return the public funds, but he still pursued the completion of the farm.