The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied with finality a motion filed by opponents of Mayor Lucilo Bayron on his long-running case for serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.
In a decision promulgated on January 25, 2018, the appeals court upheld its earlier ruling acquitting Bayron and dismissing the motion filed by appellants Aldrin Madreo, Luis Marcaida III, and the Ombudsman questioning the legality of Bayron’s assumption into office.
“We find no necessity to traverse respondent Madreo’s query proffered in his Urgent Motion for Clarificatory Order on Resolution dated 13 October 2017, to wit ‘Whether or not the Petitioner Lucilo Bayron can legally hold office as Mayor of Puerto Princesa pending the adjudication of the Motion for Reconsideration on the Decision of the Honorable Court of Appeals dated 18 November 2016 promulgated by the Office of the Ombudsman,’” the ruling stated.
The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Jaapar Dimaampao and concurred by two other members of the division panel, associate justices Amy Lazaro-Javier and Pedro Corales.
The CA division stated that it will stand on its decision since it is unable to find any “cogent and compelling ground” to warrant the modification of its August 8, 2017 ruling that Mayor Bayron and his son, Karl, are not guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.
The CA stuck to its ruling that Karl Bayron’s personal data sheet (PDS) attached to the contract of services (COS) belied Madreo’s allegation and the Ombudsman’s finding that there was an attempt to violate the truth about his relationship with his father, Mayor Bayron.
On the accusation of grave misconduct, the CA reiterated that Mayor Bayron’s triumph in the May 8, 2015, recall election when the Aguinaldo Doctrine still applies, was a condonation of any misconduct supposedly perpetrated by him during the prior term.
“Recall election fits to a tee the elections held on 8 May 2015. As it happened, the people of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, elected petitioner again as their Mayor in the Recall Elections held,” said the CA on the affirmation of confidence of city residents to Mayor Bayron.
The CA also refused to be moved to overturn its earlier ruling because of Marcaida’s belief that he has the right to intervene since Mayor Bayron’s reinstatement affected him.
It maintained that Marcaida’s “petition for leave” to intervene will only “inordinately delay the disposition of the case.”
“Since he adopted respondent’s stance, Marcaida’s alleged interest is amply protected therein. Ergo, Marcaida’s Petition for Leave to Intervene has no leg to stand on,” the decision stated.
City administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa said that Mayor Bayron is hopeful that the CA’s decision “with finality” will end all attempts to challenge Bayron’s incumbency.
“He (Bayron) is expecting that this is the end of it all. But for me, personally, I believe that this is not the end of it as long as there are still doors that are open for them,” Pedrosa told Palawan News.
“Muling pinatutunayan lang niyan na si Mayor Bayron ay walang kasalanan. Ngayon, he’s judicially declared innocent sa mga kasong serious dishonesty at grave misconduct,” he stated.
Pedrosa said that if the appellants decide to elevate the cases to the Supreme Court (SC), they are confident that the high court would have the same resolution.
“Puwede nilang iakyat ‘yan sa Supreme Court, pero naniniwala kami na pagdating doon, gaya din sa CA ang magiging resolusyon. May respeto ang Supreme Court sa desisyon ng CA,” he said.