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Vitriolo wins: SC upholds reinstatement of dismissed CHED exec

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The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed reinstatement of former Commission on Higher Education (CHED) executive director Julito Vitriolo who got dismissed from service by the Office of the Ombudsman back in 2016.

In a resolution, the SC denied the petition of the Ombudsman seeking to overturn the rulings of the Court of Appeals (CA) which ordered the reinstatement of Vitriolo to the CHED.

“Wherefore, the petition is denied for lack of merit,” ruled the high court.

In 2016, the Ombudsman issued a resolution which found probable cause to indict Vitriolo over allegations of using the Pamantan Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) as a diploma mill.

The Ombudsman also ordered him dismissed from service for being administratively guilty of gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, inefficiency, and incompetence.

The Ombudsman acted on the complaints filed by former PLM faculty member Oliver Felix.

During a mediation conference at the Ombudsman held on August 9, 2011, Vitriolo agreed to act on act Felix’s submissions and “issue the necessary citations and sanctions to PLM.”

However, Vitriolo replied only on June 30, 2014 and told Felix “that the person assigned to look into his concerns had already retired but that a memorandum had already been issued to the concerned officials to provide updates on what was accomplished relative to the alleged ‘diploma mill’ operations of PLM.”

The SC noted “the CA concluded that respondent’s (Vitriolo) only infraction was his failure to reply to Felix’s May 21, 2010 and June 29, 2010 letters and to communicate to him the actions taken by his office.”

“Accordingly, the CA found the penalty of dismissal to be too harsh and disproportionate to the infraction committed,” said the SC.

The CA only imposed against Vitriolo a suspension of 30 days.

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