SC stops OMB suspension of Lipa City Mayor Sabili | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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SC stops OMB suspension of Lipa City Mayor Sabili

The Supreme Court (SC) has stopped the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) from enforcing its decision that suspended for nine months Lipa City Mayor Meynardo A. Sabili for “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”

Also covered by the SC order are the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which implements the suspension of local elective officials.

Lipa City Mayor Meynardo A. Sabili  (Photo courtesy of www.lipa.gov.ph)

Lipa City Mayor Meynardo A. Sabili
(Photo courtesy of www.lipa.gov.ph)

In a resolution that contained a temporary restraining order (TRO), the SC’s second division granted the plea of Sabili who invoked the “condonation doctrine” that extinguishes the administrative liability of an elective public official once re-elected.

The TRO is “effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court … enjoining the respondents, the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, their agents, representatives and anyone acting in their behalf from implementing the decision dated 9 August 2016 of the Office of the Ombudsman in OMB-L-A-15-0313,” the SC in the resolution dated Oct. 5, 2016.

In November last year, the SC decided to abandon the “condonation doctrine” but it decreed that the abandonment is prospective in application and  enforceable only upon the finality of the decision. The SC ruling became final on April 12, 2016.

Sabili was administratively charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for acts allegedly committed in September 2010 and in July 2012. He was elected mayor in the May 2010, and was re-elected in the 2013 and 2016 elections.

The administrative complaint against Sabili before the Ombudsman was filed on March 12, 2015 by Oscar Camerino, Efren Camerino, Dionisia Enriquez, Gerardo Enriquez, Conrado Enriquez, Ramon Enriquez, Virgilio Enriquez, Mildren Del Rosario, Nick Del Rosario and Nielbert Del Rosario as the registered owners of three parcels of land located at Victoria Homes, Tunasan, Muntinlupa City.

The complainants claimed that in a Memorandum of Agreement in September 2010, they authorized Sabili to represent them in the settlement of cases and in all other transactions involving the Victoria Property.

They said Sabili harassed them by filing a civil case against them for specific performance and damages to deliver to him his share of the property even though he was not in any way helpful to them, and Sabili accompanied by armed men, even went to the subject property on July 15, 2012 and uttered threatening words to them.