CASE DIGEST: Fajardo vs. Ombudsman

G.R. No. 173268 : August 23, 2012

ERNESTO A. FAJARDO, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, Respondents.

DEL CASTILLO, J.:


FACTS:

Petitioner Ernesto A. Fajardo (Fajardo) was designated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as a Special Collecting Officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Customs House, Collection Division. In its audit, the COA discovered that Fajardo has an unremitted collection amounting to P53,214,258.00. Thus, Fajardo was charged with misappropriation of public funds before the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman found Fajardo guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct and ordered Fajardo’s dismissal from the service. On appeal, the CA affirmed the findings of the Ombudsman.

Hence, this petition. Fajardo claims that the Ombudsman has no power to order his dismissal from service.

ISSUE: Whether or not the power of the Ombudsman to impose administrative liability is merely recommendatory in nature?

HELD: Petitioner's contention has no leg to stand on.

POLITICAL LAW: power of the Ombudsman


It is already well-settled that "the power of the Ombudsman to determine and impose administrative liability is not merely recommendatory but actually mandatory." As we have explained in Atty. Ledesma v. Court of Appeals the fact "that the refusal, without just cause, of any officer to comply with the order of the Ombudsman to penalize an erring officer or employee is a ground for disciplinary action [under Section 15(3) of RA No. 6770]; is a strong indication that the Ombudsman's 'recommendation' is not merely advisory in nature but is actually mandatory within the bounds of law.”

DENIED.

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