Wednesday, November 11, 2015
See - Supreme Court rules to do away with 'Aguinaldo' condonation doctrine
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MANILA - In a move that will be applauded by anti-corruption advocates, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ruled to finally do away with the "Aguinaldo doctrine" that has to do with the condonation of re-elected officials for past administrative offenses committed in previous terms.
A highly-placed source in the high tribunal said the justices decided to set aside the doctrine during deliberations on the case of dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. during the regular en banc session Tuesday.
The source indicated that the justices ruled that the doctrine could no longer be invoked by elected officials once the ruling on the Binay case becomes final.
Binay, the only son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, invoked the doctrine when he questioned the decision of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordering his suspension last March.
He said he no longer has any liability in the subsequent construction phases of the Makati Science High School Building (MSHSB) since that liability was effectively erased by his reelection in 2013.
He also used the same doctrine to defend himself in the case of the allegedly anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.
During oral arguments on the case, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno made known her opposition to the Aguinaldo doctrine, which removes the liabilities of elected officials for administrative offenses committed in previous terms upon their reelection to office.
Sereno said that the use of the doctrine is "an affront to the Constitution and to future generations of Filipinos" adding that "it is an unfortunate doctrine based on bad case law."
Sereno also raised the specter of thousands of elected officials using the same doctrine to evade liabilities for administrative offenses committed in their previous term, provided that he or she is reelected into office.
But the High Tribunal also upheld the authority of the Court of Appeals (CA) to review and stop the administrative orders issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Earlier, Morales claimed the CA has no authority to review or stop her administrative order, adding that only the SC has that authority.
The SC, though has yet to release a copy of its ruling on the Binay case.
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