To recount, weeks before the 2019 mid-term elections, the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal from office of Cawaling after he was found guilty of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming of a public official, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in relation to the implementation of national laws and local ordinances protecting the environment and regulating construction activities on Boracay Island.

Cawaling’s vice mayor Abram Sualog served as the acting mayor of Malay.

But Cawaling filed his candidacy for the same post before the issuance of the decision. He remained a candidate as the Ombudsman decision can still be appealed up to the Supreme Court.

Came the results of the election,  Cawaling was voted again as Mayor of Malay. Cawaling garnered 16,277 defeating former mayor John Yap who got 12,620 votes and Rodgiet Ranara who had 1,200 votes.

Now, granting that Cawaling did not appeal the decision of the Ombudsman and has now become final and executory, the question is, can he still be allowed to retain his seat as Mayor taking into consideration the provisions of R.A. No. 7160 or the Local Government Code (particularly Section 40 thereof) and recent Supreme Court decisions?

Section 40 (b) of the LGC  states that those removed from office as a result of an administrative case shall be disqualified from running for any elective local position:

Section 40. Disqualifications. – The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position:
x x x x
(b) Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case;
x x x x

Also, in CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE OMBUDSMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS AND JEJOMAR ERWIN S. BINAY, JR., the Supreme Court has abandoned the “condonation doctrine” (any administrative liability of an elective official during his previous term is condoned by his re-election).

What do you think?

***Did he assail the Ombudsman decision? Any updates?


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