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Mayor San Pedro seeks TRO on dismissal

San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan City Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro has sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Court of Appeals against the dismissal order of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, the lawyer of San Pedro, no longer filed a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman and instead filed on April 19, 2016 a petition for review.

“The suspension, and necessarily for that matter, the removal, of an elective local public official is forbidden during an election period such as now,” read San Pedro’s petition.

The petition not only asked the Court of Appeals for the “reversal, setting aside and nullification” of the March 7 decision of the Ombudsman but also sought the issuance of a TRO.

The Ombudsman in its decision ordered San Pedro dismissed after finding himguilty of grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct. It also imposed the accesory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the government service.

“The National and Local Elections will be held in a matter of around three weeks from now. The effect of the assailed Decision, highly erroneous and null and void as it is, is to cast doubt and aspersions, false as they, on the qualifications and integrity of the Petitioner,” read the petition.

Topacio pointed out that the Ombudsman’s decision “exposes Petitioner to a disqualification as a candidate for the mayor of said City.”

The complaint against San Pedro was filed by Engineer Rufino Gravador who accused San Pedro of alleged constructive dismissal and oppression for assigning the complainant as acting city agriculturist after having disobeyed alleged unlawful orders of the mayor.

Gravador had also accused San Pedro of being behind the ambush against the complainant.