All of the sudden, the Office of the Ombudsman went into hyperdrive. Hence, the recent rash of “summary executions” on public officials aligned with the opposition here.
First, people may be wondering if this office really has to power to do that when they still have to file the criminal case with the Sandiganbayan.
Unfortunately, it can.
What the Office of the Ombudsman did it rule on the administrative aspect of the complaints against these officials and then exercised the penalty for them, which is dismissal. It’s similar to a private company where the boss fires his employees for stealing money (or whatever grave offense). The company can still file a criminal case against said employee but it can already lay the good ‘ole Donald Trump catch-phrase on that erring employee.
These actions may backfire as these so-called “erring officials” (I’m beginning to hear that favorite “Let him cast the first stone…” catch-phrase of Jesus Christ…) can now portray themselves as underdogs and martyrs, thereby securing their re-election bids. These people may just have won the elections.
And as discussed before, “the rule is that a public official can not be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.” (Aguinaldo vs. Santos, G.R. No. 94115, 21 August 1992)
Whew! Did I just make my first blog-lecture for the year without labeling it such?