(Question A.8, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam)
Mayor X and his City Administrator, Y, are political buddies who assumed their respective offices in 2010. Sometime in January 2012, Y proposed to Mayor X the entry into a ₱5,000,000.00 loan agreement with ABC Foundation, a non-stock and non-profit organization in which the two had a long-standing personal involvement. The loan agreement was duly executed in the same year but was never authorized and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. It was further found that the same constituted a fraudulent scheme to defraud the City Government.
Meanwhile. Mayor X won another term during the May 2013 Elections and Y continued on as his City Administrator. A year after, or in May 2014, administrative charges for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service were filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman. In defense, Mayor X argued that his subsequent reelection in May 2013 absolved him from any administrative liability for any alleged anomalous activity during his first term in office.
Y raised the same defense of condonation, having been retained by Mayor X as City Administrator for a second term. On December 10, 2015, the Ombudsman rendered its ruling in the case, finding both Mayor X and Y administratively liable. Citing the Supreme Court’s Decision in Carpio-Morales v. Court of Appeals (G.R. Nos. 217126-27), which was initially promulgated on November 10, 2015, the Ombudsman rejected their defense of condonation. With the motions for reconsideration of Mayor X and Y having been denied by the Ombudsman on March 10, 2016, they elevated thee matter to the Court of Appeals.
(a) Did the Ombudsman err in not giving credence to the defense of condonation as raised by Mayor X? explain. (2%)
(b) How about Y? Can he validly invoke the condonation doctrine to absolve him of the charge? Explain. (3%)
(a) Yes. Answer
Under jurisprudence, the condonation doctrine is considered as good law since then until November 10, 2015 when the Court promulgated Carpio-Morales v. Court of Appeals. Rule
In the case at bar, Mr. X is charged with an administrative offense yet was re-elected prior to the promulgation of the Decision in Carpio-Morales v. CA. Accordingly, he is covered by the condonation doctrine wherein his re-election signifies the electorate having forgiven him for the offense as manifested by them voting him back to office. Apply
Thus, the Ombudsman erred in not giving credence to the defense of condonation as raised by Mayor X. Conclusion
(b) No. Answer
Under the jurisprudence, condonation applied to elective officials only, and not to appointive officials. Rule
In the case at bar, Y is not covered by condonation since he is an appointive official being appointed to office by Mayor X. Apply
Thus, Y cannot validly invoke the condonation doctrine to absolve him of the charge. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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