The Court of Appeals has upheld its earlier ruling acquitting Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron from charges of serious dishonesty but declined to issue an order stopping the Ombudsman from implementing its dismissal ruling against him which his detractors claim is still legally in effect.
A motion filed by Bayron immediately following his acquittal by the CA last month had asked the appeals body “to enjoin respondents including Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida” from implementing the Ombudsman order “and from molesting the petitioner in the exercise of his duties as Mayor of Puerto Princesa City.”
In a two-page ruling promulgated on August 24, a copy of which was furnished to Palawan News by the camp of Mayor Bayron, the Court of Appeal stated that while it had already absolved Bayron of any administrative liability from the complaint of serious dishonesty filed against him by a certain Aldrin Madreo, it has no jurisdiction over Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida.
“Given that he [Bayron] had already been reinstated as Mayor of Puerto Princesa City even before the promulgation of our decision, his absolution from administrative liability fortifies his authority to hold such office,” the ruling stated.
The Court however declined Bayron’s motion to issue an “ex parte ruling” against other parties before the Ombudsman, including Marcaida, from pursuing the implementation of its dismissal order issued November 18, 2016.
“All the same we are devoid of any jurisdictional competence to grant such relief against Vice Mayor Marcaida. For one thing, he [Marcaida] is not a party to the case. For another, the relief prayed for in the Motion transcends the purview of the prayer in the Petition. If at all, petitioner’s [Bayron] relief, if any, may be ventilated in another appropriate forum,” it added.
Marcaida had recently sworn himself into office as mayor, claiming that the CA’s decision clearing Bayron was not “final and executory” and that the Ombudsman’s dismissal order should still take effect.
The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Japar B. Dimaampao and concurred by Associate Justices Amy Lazaro-Javier and Pedro Corales.