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Morales v CA and Binay (b) Phases III to V transpired during his first term and that his re-election

as City Mayor of Makati for a second term effectively condoned his


Facts:
administrative liability therefor, if any, thus rendering the administrative
A complaint was filed against Binay and other public officers of the City cases against him moot and academic.
Government of Makati charging them with administrative cases for
In view of the condonation doctrine, as well as the lack of evidence to
Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the
sustain the charges against him, his suspension from office would
Best Interest of the Service, and criminal cases for violation of RA 3019,
undeservedly deprive the electorate of the services of the person they
Malversation of Public Funds, and Falsification of Public Documents.
have conscientiously chosen and voted into office.
Binay, Jr. was alleged to be involved in anomalous activities attending
the procurement and construction phases of the Makati Parking The Ombudman’s contentions:
Building project, committed during his previous and present terms as
The condonation doctrine is irrelevant to the determination of whether
City Mayor of Makati.
the evidence of guilt is strong for purposes of issuing preventive
The Ombudsman issued a preventive suspension order, placing Binay suspension orders.
Jr., et al., under preventive suspension for not more than six (6) months
Reliance on the condonation doctrine is a matter of defense, which
without pay, during the pendency of the OMB Cases.
should have been raised by before it during the administrative
Binay, Jr. filed a petition for certiorari before the CA seeking the proceedings.
nullification of the preventive suspension order.
There is no condonation because Binay, Jr. committed acts subject of
The CA granted Binay, Jr.'s prayer for a TRO, notwithstanding Peña, Jr.'s the OMB Complaint after his re-election in 2013.
assumption of duties as Acting Mayor. Citing Governor Garcia, Jr. v. CA,
Issue: Whether or not the CA gravely abused its discretion in issuing the TRO and
it found that it was more prudent on its part to issue a TRO in view of
the WPI enjoining the implementation of the preventive suspension order
the extreme urgency of the matter and seriousness of the issues raised, against Binay, Jr. based on the condonation doctrine.
considering that if it were established that the acts subject of the
Ruling: No. However, the condonation doctrine is abandoned, but the
administrative cases against Binay, Jr. were all committed during his
abandonment is prospective in effect.
prior term, then, applying the condonation doctrine, Binay, Jr.'s re-
election meant that he can no longer be administratively charged. A. The WPI against the Ombudsman's preventive suspension order was correctly
issued.
Binay’s contention:
1. The CA's resolutions directing the issuance of the assailed injunctive
Phases I and II were undertaken before he was elected Mayor of Makati writs were all hinged on cases enunciating the condonation doctrine. By
merely following settled precedents on the condonation doctrine,
in 2010; and which at that time, unwittingly remained "good law," it cannot be
concluded that the CA committed a grave abuse of discretion based on accountability, or of the nature of public office being a public
its legal attribution above. trust.

B. The Condonation Doctrine 3. The concept of public office, under the 1987 Constitution, AS A PUBLIC
TRUST and the corollary requirement of ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE
1. Condonation is defined as "a victim's express or implied forgiveness of PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES is PLAINLY INCONSISTENT with the idea that an
an offense, especially by treating the offender as if there had been no elective local official's administrative liability for a misconduct
offense." committed during a prior term can be wiped off by the fact that he
2. Under the Condonation Doctrine, was elected to a second term of office, or even another elective post.
a. First, the penalty of removal may not be extended beyond the
term in which the public officer was elected for each term is 4. Election is not a mode of condoning an administrative offense.
separate and distinct. 5. There is no constitutional or statutory basis to support the notion. In
b. Second, an elective official's re-election serves as a condonation fact the Local Government Code and the RRACCS precludes
of previous misconduct, thereby cutting the right to remove him condonation since in the first place, an elective local official who is
therefor. meted with the penalty of removal could not be re-elected to an
c. Third, courts may not deprive the electorate, who are assumed elective local position due to a direct disqualification from running for
to have known the life and character of candidates, of their right such post.
to elect officers.
6. If condonation of an elective official's administrative liability would
3. It is not based on statutory law but a jurisprudential creation. perhaps, be allowed in this jurisdiction, then the same should have
a. It originated from the 1959 case of Pascual v. Hon. Provincial been provided by law under our governing legal mechanisms.
Board of Nueva Ecija. In which case, as there was no legal
precedent on the issue at that time, the Court, resorted to
7. The proposition that the electorate, when re-electing a local official, are
American authorities and found that the weight of authorities
assumed to have done so with knowledge of his life and character, and
seems to incline toward the rule denying the right to remove
that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been
one from office because of misconduct during a prior term.
guilty of any, is infirm. No such presumption exists in any statute or
procedural rule.
4. The condonation doctrine does not apply to a criminal case. Also, it
a. Most corrupt acts by public officers are shrouded in secrecy,
would not apply to appointive officials since, as to them, there is no
and concealed from the public. At a conceptual level,
sovereign will to disenfranchise.
condonation presupposes that the condoner has actual
C. The doctrine of condonation is actually bereft of legal bases. knowledge of what is to be condoned. Thus, there could be no
condonation of an act that is unknown.
1. There is really no established weight of authority in the US favoring the
doctrine of condonation. 8. Liability arising from administrative offenses may only be condoned by
the President in light of Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
2. The plain difference in setting, including the sheer impact of the
condonation doctrine on public accountability, calls for Pascual's D. The Court's abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be
judicious re-examination. prospective in application. It should be, as a general rule, recognized as "good
a. Pascual was decided within the context of the 1935 law" prior to its abandonment. Consequently, the people's reliance thereupon
Constitution which was silent with respect to public should be respected.