A 20-day temporary restraining order stopping the vice mayor and the investigating committee from conducting further proceedings in the administrative cases involving Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary Nilo Alejandrino was issued by the Regional Trial Court Friday.
Alejandrino had filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for temporary restraining order under Rule 65 with prayer for TRO against Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, the disciplining authority, members of the investigating committee, and City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan.
The investigating committee includes Councilors Dindo Ramos, Homer Bais and Roberto Rojas.
Alejandrino was meted the penalty of dismissal from service, with the cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service by the Office of the Vice Mayor.
In his decision dated February 16, 2011, Sayson said Alejandrino is liable for grave misconduct, abuse of authority, conduct unbecoming and unprofessional conduct in the complaint filed by Councilor Caesar Distrito.
In his order dated February 24, 2012, RTC Judge Franklin Demonteverde of Branch 44, restrained the respondent city officials from conducting further proceedings, to maintain the status quo pending the controversy, until the issues of the injunction will be determined.
Demonteverde has set the hearing of the preliminary injunction on Wednesday and directed the respondents to show cause why it should not be granted.
Alejandrino’s legal counsel, Edgardo Tuclaud, said in a radio interview, said they plan to amend their case since they received the order of dismissal only after they had filed their petition and the decision of the Vice Mayor’s Office is not yet final and executory.
Distrito, however, said the TRO issued by the judge has no effect, considering that it is already moot and academic, as the case had already been decided and had ended before the TRO was granted.
A TRO does not have any effect now because nothing needs to be restrained anymore, considering that the respondent's prayer is to stop any further proceeding, he added.
Distrito said Alejandrino’s camp sought for a TRO on the proceedings of the case, but the disciplining authority already made his decision on February 15 and 16, based on the recommendation of the investigating committee, before the issuance of the TRO.
Alejandrino said the vice mayor has no jurisdiction over him, however under Section 456 of the New Local Government Code, the vice mayor is the appointing authority of all SP employees, and Section 3 of the same code provides that the appointing authority is also the disciplining authority, he said.
The hearing was set at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to determine whether the 20-day TRO will be extended or not, he added.
Alejandrino had earlier filed before the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas an administrative case against Sayson for oppression, conduct unbecoming of a public official, grave abuse of authority and violation of R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and criminal and administrative complaints against Distrito for violation of R.A. 6713 and R.A. 3019 or the Revised Penal Code more particularly Article 20 on bribery, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming of a public official.*CGS