THE Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss administrative charges brought against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia over the controversial purchase of Balili property in Naga city. In its 12-page decision of September 14, 2021, which was uploaded to the SC’s website on November 24, the Ombudsman’s motion to review the 2014 decision of the Court of Appeal (CA) to release Garcia and 10 other Capitol- Officials refused.

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In its petition, the Ombudsman’s Office claimed that the Doctrine of Toleration or the Aguinaldo Doctrine “had no legal and constitutional basis and should therefore be reassessed in the light of the 1987 Constitution”. for administrative misconduct committed in an earlier term. “Under current law, the accountability of every public official in the performance of his or her official acts is a strict and continuous responsibility, not an administrative offense,” argues the Ombudsman. However, the SC agrees with the competent authority that the court no longer supports the application of the tolerance doctrine that became final in April 2016, but that it has not been applicable in the Garcia case since the administrative proceedings in 2010. Charges were brought against them here the three grave misconduct charges filed against the defendant and others prior to her re-election as governor of the province of Cebu in 2010. Since the events that occurred here took place before the final conclusion of Carpio-Morales on April 12, 2016, may the defendant continued to take advantage of the acquiescence doctrine as a result of their re-election in 2010. In fine, the defendant’s administrative liability – both the offense and the punishment – is deemed to have been completely erased, “said the SC. (JKV)

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