PALAWAN, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Governance (DILG) finally implemented the dismissal order against Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron 3 months after the Ombudsman issued it.
Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III took his oath as the new chief executive on Tuesday, February 21, after the Ombudsman sacked Bayron for “serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.”
Marcaida made his oath before Judge Angelo Arizala of the Regional Trial Court Branch 52 in Puerto Princesa.
The Ombudsman ordered Bayron’s dismissal on November 18, 2016, over a nepotism case. He was found to have appointed his son, Karl Bayron as project manager of the Bantay Puerto-VIP Security Task Force during his first term in 2013.
According to the Ombudsman, the father, who was the city’s highest hiring authority, and his son entered a contract without disclosing their filial relationship, which is clearly shown on the latter’s birth certificate.
The Bayrons argued in their separate counter-affidavits that the position was a “non-plantilla and non-career position,” hence mentioning such kinship is immaterial. They also said the position was “highly confidential in nature” as Karl’s primary function was to act as the head of the security personnel of his father.
The Ombudsman agreed that Karl’s engagement was a confidential position, and therefore exempted from the rule on nepotism stated in Section 59 of the Administrative Code of 1987.
However, the Ombudsman maintained that “their act of concealing such relationship” by making “a false statement” on the contract is still considered “a deliberate violation of the standard of behavior expected of government officials and employees.”
Bayron’s supporters held a solidarity rally for a couple of days at the city hall early February.
While the dismissal order had been issued in November and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on December 15, its implementation order, signed by DILG Regional Director Florida Dijan, was only served to Bayron on February 10.
With the dismissal, Bayron is perpetually disqualified from holding public office. All his retirement benefits are forfeited, and he is barred from from taking any civil service examination.
Bayron, through his chief legal counsel Winston Gonzales, has filed with the Court of Appeals a petition to review and reverse the the Ombudsman’s decision. – Rappler.com