The Court of Appeals (CA) on Friday afternoon issued a new resolution reiterating its earlier ruling upholding the legitimacy of Mayor Lucilo Bayron as sitting mayor of Puerto Princesa City and dismissing the complaint of “serious dishonesty” filed against him at the Office of the Ombudsman.
The decision was announced by Bayron himself before his supporters, who have been manning a human barricade at City Hall since last week to prevent the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) from serving a dismissal order issued against him by the Ombudsman.
Portions of the 3-page decision was furnished Palawan News by a City Hall source, with the last page stating it was a copy of the signed resolution issued by Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao and concurred by Associate Justices Amy Lazaro-Javier and Pedro B. Corales.
The decision “merely noted” the appeal of Bayron to the CA to issue a “clarificatory order” to stop the DILG from serving the Ombudsman ruling. The decision stated that it had already established Bayron’s legitimacy as sitting mayor and there was no need to issue a clarification.
“It bears emphasis that it would have been a different scenario if petitioner had not yet returned to his position as mayor when we promulgated our 8 August 2017 decision,” the CA ruling stated.
“Given that he 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,” it added.
According to Atty. Arnel Pedrosa, City Legal Officer, said that with this new ruling, all other legal cases filed against Bayron will be considered as null and void.
“Kung merit ang pagbabasehan mo, ako bilang abogado, naniniwala ako na sa dulo ng labanan mananaig ‘yung posisyon ni Mayor Bayron,”Pedrosa said.
Bayron, in his message to his supporters said his fight against the Ombudsman’s decision was already over as the CA has issued its latest ruling. He also announced he will have a Thanksgiving Mass on Monday.
“Maraming, maraming salamat para sa inyong sakripisyo, sa inyong araw-araw na malakng presensya dito upang proteksyunan ‘yung mandatong ibinigay ninyo [sa akin], at upang ipaglaban ‘yong hustisya,”Bayron said.
“Binigyan tayo ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa mga mamamayan ng Puerto Princesa bilang vice mayor, pagkatapos niyan bilang mayor. Dumaan tayo sa butas ng karayom, isang critical na laban na noong simula wala akong nakikita akong panalo, ngunit dinala tayo sa panalo dahil sa tulong niyo at dahil sa Kanya,” he added.
Bayron also described is ordeal in the case as tough and that he had felt at a certain point that he had already lost but emerged victories because of his supporters’ actions.
“Dumaan tayo sa butas ng karayom, isang critical na laban na nung simula wala akong nakikitang panalo. Ngunit dinala tayo sa panalo dahil sa tulong niyo at dahil sa Kanya,” he said.
Palawan News asked City Information Officer Richard Ligad if City Hall will be back to its normal function starting next week.
“Kung lahat naman ay in order na, ibabalik naman lahat,” Ligad said.
Elmer Zita, vice-mayor Luis Marcaida III’s spokesperson, on the other hand brushed aside the latest CA resolution and its release “a case of public deception”.
“This is just public deception because the ruling of the CA cannot overrule the decision of the Ombudsman on being final and executory. Only the Supreme Court can modify, change, and reverse the decision,” Zita said.
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