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Mabilog’s lawyer to appeal dismissal order

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City – Lawyer Joenar Pueblo, the legal counsel of embattled Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, vowed to appeal the dismissal order recently issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against his client, deeming it “unfair and absurd.”

Pueblo said he will be filing a petition for certiorari including a temporary restraining order (TRO) in behalf of Mabilog in the coming days.

In a 13-page decision the Office of the Ombudsman has ordered Mabilog’s dismissal for “serious dishonesty relative to his unlawful acquisition of wealth,” meting him the penalty of “dismissal from service with cancellation of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and being barred from taking the civil service examination.”

Pueblo noted the case, filed by former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada, was based on Mabilog’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth or SALN.

“But the ombudsman said that Mayor Mabilog’s SALN was factual, truthful,” he argued.

As to the ombudsman’s claim on Mabilog’s Canada bank loan defying logic, he said, “Defies financial logic? It was not even stated what were their basis in saying that it defies financial logic.”

The decision stated, “the assertion that respondent’s loan in a bank in Canada is spurious is dismissed. Save for its claim that the principal amount of the said loan would only decrease by about P400,000 after a year defies financial logic, complainant did not receive proof to substantiate its said claim.”

Pueblo said they would also question why Mechor Arthur Carandang, the overall deputy ombudsman (ODO), signed the approval of the decision, instead of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

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