Photo from Ton Abengoza

The Office of the Ombudsman has overturned its previous decision finding former Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano liable for grave abuse of authority in an administrative case filed by Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC).

The case stemmed from Feliciano’s orders to suspend INC’s operations and the demolition of several mining structures due to a lack of building and zoning permits in 2018.

However, in a 12 page decision, the Office of the Ombudsman cited lack of evidence to support the allegations.

“At all events, Mayor Feliciano was merely performing her official function as local chief executive. Correspondingly, it cannot be said that Mayor Feliciano violated any provision of law as to be held liable for Oppression,” the Ombudsman ruled.

In a statement, Feliciano expressed relief from being vindicated.

“Tunay nga na hindi hinahayaan ng Panginoon na mapahiya ang Kaniyang mga anak na lumalakad sa katuwiran,” she said.

“Ang Diyos ang magtatanggol sa akin mula sa mga naninira at kumakalaban sa akin,” she added.

Incumbent Mayor Cesareo Benedito congratulated Feliciano on the recent development of her case.

Feliciano has already served 1 year of suspension without salary and was temporarily replaced by the Vice Mayor Georjalyn Joy Quiachon.