Reelected Zamboanga del Norte governor gets 3-month suspension
DIPOLOG CITY, Philippines – After winning his reelection bid in last month's elections, Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy was slapped with a 3-month suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a press release, the Ombudsman found Uy guilty of simple misconduct for terminating the services of 6 provincial employees when he assumed office in 2013.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales directed the Department of the Interior and Local Goverment to "immediately implement" the suspension order.
The case stemmed from the Civil Service Commission (CSC)'s declaration that the dismissal of the 6 employees was invalid. It also ordered the Provincial Government to restore them to their previous positions and to pay their back salaries.
The dismissed employees' lawyer, Lester Patay, said his clients brought their case to the Ombudsman when Uy refused to heed the CSC decision.
Patay added that his clients have still not returned to their work, but said the Ombudsman's order was already a victory.
"There is justice after all, even if it is long overdue," Patay said.
He added that the employees dismissed by Uy were appointees of former governor Rolando E. Yebes, whom Uy beat in the May 2016 polls.
At least a hundred other provincial employees who were illegally dismissed and won at the CSC also brought their cases to the Ombudsman.
One of Uy's cousins, who worked with the governor when he was still mayor of Dipolog, said that working with Uy was "unprofessional because he has the tendency not to follow the law."
He added that the "governor's way of leadership is just like him preparing a rope for his own hanging."
Rappler went to Uy's house here to get his side, but the guard said the governor cannot accept visitors because he was in a conference with lawyers, including Vice Governor Senen L. Angeles.
Uy ran under the banner of the ruling Liberal Party. His rival, Rolando Yebes, was with the Nationalist People's Coalition. – Rappler.com