The family of the late former Sanggunian Panlungsod Secretary Nilo Alejandrino has vowed to continue seeking justice for him after the Civil Service Commission modified the penalty meted to him from dismissal to simple discourtesy with the penalty of reprimand.
During a press conference in Bacolod City yesterday with their father's lawyers Lorenzo Alminaza and Edgardo Tuclaud, Alejandrino’s daughters, April Angela and Aloy, said they want justice for their father and will not stop until his name is vindicated, even if his benefits are released to them by the city.
Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson had issued a decision against Alejandrino imposing the penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from employment in government after finding him guilty of the charges filed against him by Councilor Caesar Distrito for grave misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct unbecoming and unprofessional conduct, resulting from a chair-throwing incident at the SP Secretary’s office.
The decision of the CSC, however, stated that Alejadrino should only be held liable for simple discourtesy in the course of official duties.
The Commission modified the decision of Sayson and also stated that simple discourtesy, which Alejandrino committed for the first time, is tantamount to a reprimand and since he died last April 14, 2012, it is deemed that he had served the penalty imposed on him. It also ordered the release of Alejandrino’s back wages.
The decision was signed by CSC chairman Francisco Duque, III, Commissioner Mary Ann Fernandez Mendoza and Director Dolores Bonifacio.
Sayson said the CSC affirmed that his office had jurisdiction to hear the complaint filed by Distrito against Alejandrino and the creation of the Committee to hear the complaint was within his power and the SP Secretary was given due process.
He said that, as disciplining authority, he only followed the recommendation of the Committee composed of Councilors Homer Bais, Roberto Rojas and Dindo Ramos.
With the modification of the decision, he said he will follow the CSC order to grant Alejandrino his back wages and other benefits.
Sayson said that although he can still file a motion for reconsideration, he will no longer appeal the decision for humanitarian reasons. He said he has already directed the payroll officer to compute whatever benefits are due to Alejandrino.
Alejandrino’s daughters, however, said their father lost his will to live because of the case and those who made him suffer will be made answerable.
His death certificate showed that the immediate cause of his death was liver failure, with pancreatic cancer with liver, lung and spinal cord metastasis, as underlying cause.
His daughters, however, blamed Sayson, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Distrito and the Committee members for what happened to him.
They said they will not also withdraw the case their mother Melba had filed against these officials with the Ombudsman because they want to vindicate his name.
In her statement read by April, Melba Alejandrino, said that, the simple discourtesy which only warrants a reprimand and grave judgment was too much and an overkill for a first offense.
She said her husband’s illegal dismissal was a public humiliation that he endured, his dignity was questioned and the respect of the public was tainted.
Sayson said it is the right of the family to file charges. He said Alejandrino was given due process and that is already a defense for whatever case they will file against him.
Before his suspension, Alejandrino, had filed for leave of absence for almost six months because he was ill, Sayson said, in reaction to the claims of the SP Secretary’s family that his dismissal had triggered his Pancreatic cancer.
He also said it was the Mayor who had appointed Alejandrino as SP Secretary.
Sayson appealed to their political opponents not to take advantage of the family’s grief for their political agenda to get the support of the people.*CGS