BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya —Former governor Ruth Padilla and the provincial legal officer have been cleared by the Ombudsman of corrupt practices and grave abuse of authority filed against them by 21 provincial government employees.
A joint resolution approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales cleared Padilla and provincial legal officer Voltaire Garcia dismissing the case against them “for lack of probable cause and substantial evidence.”
In 2013, upon assumption as governor, Padilla revoked the said employees’ appointments and promotions in her issuance of Executive Order No. 3.
The said employees were appointed and promoted by then-governor, now Rep. Luisa Cuaresma.
They questioned Padilla’s authority to revoke their respective appointments and promotions before the Civil Service Commission which issued an order favoring the employees and directing Padilla for their reinstatement and payment of back wages.
On May 7, 2015, Padilla acted on the CSC order, reinstating the employees to their respective positions they were appointed and promoted. They were also paid of their backwages for the period January to June 2015. The back wages for 2013 and 2014, however, were not paid for lack of appropriation.
This was one of the bases for the employees’ filing of a case against Padilla for her alleged willful disobedience for refusing to implement the CSC order.
However, the Ombudsman’s order said there is no showing that respondents openly refused to implement the CSC order without any legal justification.
The Ombudsman order stated: “Here respondent Padilla… implemented the CSC Resolutions by reinstating complainants to the positions they were appointed or promoted to and were paid their backwages for the period January to June 2015.”
“The backwages for the years 2013 and 2014 were not released for lack of appropriation therefor; hence, compliance therewith is impeded by one that is beyond her authority or power,” the Ombudsman said.