Alba v Nitorreda; G.R. No. 120223; 13 Mar 1996; 254 SCRA 753

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The Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao suspended petitioner for gross misconduct after it found that the latter was partial to the Arriesgado Institute of Medical Sciences Foundation, Inc. (AIMSFI) school owners and acted against the interest of complaining students. Respondent did not comport himself in accordance with justness, sincerity and professionalism required by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers and Employees (R.A. 6713).

Whether or not Section 27 of R.A. 6770 and Section 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 7 is unconstitutional for their failure to provide for the right of appeal in certain cases from the decision of the Ombudsman and is tantamount to deprivation of property without due process of law.

NO. Petitioner was afforded ample opportunity to present his side at the scheduled preliminary conference. His non-appearance thereat is attributable to no one else but himself and he cannot be allowed to now pass the buck to the Graft Investigating Officer who had complied strictly with the abovequoted procedure in the conduct of administrative investigations. Furthermore, undisputed is the fact that not only did the Office of the Ombudsman give due course and consideration to petitioner’s counter-affidavit, but it also entertained and resolved his motion for reconsideration which is not ordinarily allowed in the adjudication of administrative cases where the penalty imposed is suspension of not more that one month. Thus, contrary to petitioner’s claim, he was in fact given all opportunity to be heard, albeit through pleadings.

Motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

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