Eastern Samar exec suspended for graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has ordered the 90-day preventive suspension of former Taft, Eastern Samar mayor Franscisco Adalim, who now holds the position of a barangay chairman, in connection with his graft case over the alleged illegal dismissal of municipal employees in 2009.
“[Accused] is hereby directed to cease and desist from further performing and/or exercising the functions, duties and privileges of Punong Barangay…or any other position he may now be holding, effective immediately upon receipt of this Resolution and continuing for a period of 90 days unless suspension is revoked or earlier terminated,” the resolution of the court’s Second Division read.
The ruling was penned by division chairman Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. with the concurrence of Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi and Lorifel Pahimna.
The Department of Interior and Local Government was directed to implement the suspension order.
Based on the court’s records, Adalim is the incumbent chairman of Barangay 4, Poblacion and is also the president of the Association of Barangay Chairmen of Taft municipality.
The suspension order stemmed from Adalim pending cases before the Second Division which includes five counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and one count of open disobedience under Article 231 of the Revised Penal Code.
The cases stemmed from Adalim’s alleged refusal to reinstate and pay the backwages of several municipal employees which he supposedly illegally dismissed during his term as Taft mayor in 2009.
The Office of the Ombudsman, which filed the cases in 2012, said Adalim defied a Civil Service Commission August 2009 order in favor of the dismissed employees’ reinstatement and receipt of back wages.
In dismissing Adalim, the Second Division cited Section 13 of RA 3019, which states that the suspension of an incumbent official is “mandatory” if he or she is are charged under a valid case information with a crime under the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving public funds or property or fraud on government.
The court said that since Adalim had already been arraigned in 2015, the validity of the case information is no longer in question.
“Once the information is found to be sufficient in form and substance, then the Court must issue the order of suspension as a matter of course. There are no ifs and buts about it,” the Second Division said quoting a previous Supreme Court ruling.