SP discusses ‘Aguinaldo Doctrine’ for outgoing officials with pending administrative cases

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Led by Vice Governor and Presiding Officer Victorino Dennis Socrates, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan discussed on Tuesday session, June 21, the merit of applying the ‘Aguinaldo Doctrine’ to the cases of outgoing public officials who are facing administrative charges, including those who lost in the May 9 elections.

“The understanding of the Chair [on the Aguinaldo Doctrine] after every election or whenever the term ends, administrative case(s) are dismissed,” Socrates said.

First District Board Member Roseller Pineda moved for the disposal of the outgoing officials’ cases although he asked the Secretariat to identify first the said officials.

“Halimbawa, simple lang naman na grave misconduct, i-dispose na natin yan,” Pineda said.

However, Board Member Leoncio Ola objected, saying that the matter must be referred first to the Provincial Legal Office. “Kasi I’ve heard, hindi na valid (Aguinaldo Doctrine.) Maybe we can ask the legal office first,” Ola said.

Socrates appreciated the move of Ola and agreed to clarify if the principle that they were discussing is still in effect.

The Committee suspended the said item for referral to the Legal Office.

As of this writing the SP Secretariat is yet to provide more information on the said officials who have pending administrative case(s) before the Board.

Aguinaldo Doctrine, also known as the Doctrine of Condonation, was first introduced in a high court ruling in 1959. This ruling states that re-elected officials cannot be held administratively liable for offenses during a previous term because their re-election meant their constituents have already forgiven them for their offenses (Aguinaldo vs. Santos in 1992).

The Supreme Court ruled to abandon the Aguinaldo Doctrine in November last year.

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