Former Cadiz mayor gets jail term for firing employees 20 years ago
MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan sentenced the former mayor of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental to 3 years in jail for having unlawfully dismissed employees two decades ago.
Eduardo Varela will also pay a fine of P10,000 for violating Republic Act 6656, which protects the security of tenure of civil service personnel.
Varela is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
On December 31, 1998, then-mayor Varela fired 166 employees, citing a reorganization in the city government.
Yet, right after firing the said longtime employees, the city government hired 101 new workers.
Nineteen of the dismissed employees filed a petition with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), as well as a criminal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas.
On May 21, 1999, the CSC ordered the Varela to reinstate the 19 complainants. He ignored the directive, and elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. However, the appellate court on August 9, 2002, sustained the CSC’s position.
The complainants were reinstated only when Valera was not mayor anymore.
“That fact in itself can support the position of the prosecution that the reorganization was used as a tool to circumvent the law and to violate the security of tenure of the private complainants for political reasons,” the Sandiganbayan said in its 31-page decision.
“Not only did he deny the private complainants of their rights, he also deprived their families of the necessities of life, not to mention the misery and hardships they suffered to fight for [their] right,” the court said. – Rappler.com