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CA clears Nueva Ecija gov Umali in administrative case

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Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali has been cleared by the Court of Appeals (CA) of administrative liability over the alleged misuse of his pork barrel worth P15 million in 2005.

In its ruling, the CA granted Umali’s petition which questioned the resolutions of the Office of the Ombudsman in 2016 and 2017 which ordered his dismissal and had him perpetually disqualified from a government position.

“The assailed Decision of the Ombudsman dated 14 November 2016 and Order dated 29 September 2017, although supported by substantial evidence, may not be implemented and are accordingly SET ASIDE,” the CA ruled.

“The administrative misconduct committed by petitioner Aurelio M. Umali is deemed CONDONED,” it declared.

The appelate court explained that Umali is still covered by the condonation doctrine which the Supreme Court (SC) abandoned back in 2015.

The condonition doctrine prevents an elected official from being removed on account of his or her re-election.

“While the May 2019 election cannot be considered as the act of condonation, it evidences, nonetheless, the proclivity of the body politic of the 3rd District of Nueva Ecija to put their trust on the petitioner. The petitioner was elected not once but four times from the time when he committed the acts complained of in 2005,” the appelate court explained.

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