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CA reverses OMB ruling vs Paulate, et al.

The Court of Appeals (CA) has reversed a 2015 ruling of the Office of the Ombudsman that ordered the dismissal of former Quezon City councilors Roderick M. Paulate and Francisco Calalay Jr. and two others on charges of falsification of official documents, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, the CA ruled that Paulate, Calalay, liaison officer Vicente Bajamunde, and Flordeliza Acuna Alvarez were not involved in the alleged irregularity involving the hiring of more than 100 non-plantilla personnel by the Quezon City local government.

“They may have signed and issued certifications in furtherance thereto. However, they merely relied in good faith on their subordinates. Further, there was no substantial evidence to prove that petitioners planned and conspired to defraud the government and benefit therefrom,” the CA said. (Rey Panaligan)