Emano to face anti-graft court

FORMER Cagayan de Oro City mayor Vicente "Dongkoy" Emano may be nearer to facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan after the Office of the Ombudsman denied his motion for reconsideration regarding the Ombudsman’s July 2015 decision.

In a resolution dated December 22, 2015, a copy of which complainant Leonor Esparcia received on March 10, the Ombudsman found Emano’s arguments without merit causing the Ombudsman to trash Emano’s motion for reconsideration.

The Ombudsman last year had found probable cause to indict Emano for his refusal to implement a final decision of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that ordered the reinstatement of Esparcia as public health worker.

Esparcia, then an administrative assistant III (senior bookkeeper) at the J.R. Borja General Hospital, was reassigned and detailed as security guard at the City Library in 2009 prompting Esparcia to file a complaint.

Emano, in asking the Ombudsman to reconsider its decision, had argued that there was no willful defiance and legal issues had prompted Emano to not implement the order of the CSC.

The former mayor also said that the CSC order coincided with the 2013 election period which prevented him from executing Esparcia’s reinstatement.

But the Ombudsman disagreed with Emano.

“His actions, taken together, all demonstrate a deliberate intent not to enforce both the CSC Decision and, more importantly, the Resolution that denied his motion for reconsideration,” the Ombudsman order states.

The Order also notes that “there is a whale difference between transfer and restoration to one’s position or reinstatement defined in the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines.”

The Ombudsman said ‘transfer’ is defined as “a movement from one position to another which is of equivalent rank, level, or salary without break in service involving the issuance of an appointment while ‘reinstatement’ is defined as “any person who has been permanently appointed to a position in the career service and who has, through no delinquency or misconduct, been separated therefrom, may be reinstated to a position in the same level for which he is qualified.”

“In light of the foregoing, complainant’s reinstatement to her position is not covered by the election ban,” the order further said.

The Ombudsman also notes that Emano’s argument that he is not a lawyer and therefore unaware of the consequences of his non-compliance to a CSC order does not hold water.

“As a local chief executive, he is expected to know that such an order is immediately executory within 15 days after his receipt thereof and that a failure or a refusal to comply with such an order constitutes a criminal offense,” the Ombudsman order said.

Esparcia, meanwhile, said she is grateful that all her sacrifices has paid off.

“Dako gayud akong pasalamat nga naangkon ko og kaangayan,” Esparcia said.

Lawyer Rey Raagas, Espacria’s legal counsel, said it is now up to Emano to look for other legal remedies.

“Ang Ombudsman na molihok ana bahala na sila Emano unsa ilang buhaton kung moapela pa ba sila or maghulat sila nga i-charge sa ombudsman sa sandiganbayan,” Raagas said.

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