5-year jail time for ex-mayor

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FORMER mayor Eduardo Varela of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental was found guilty for violation of the security of tenure law.

Varela has failed to reinstate several city hall employees in 1999, according to the Fifth Division of Sandiganbayan.

The former mayor specifically violated Section 4 in relation to Section 10 of Republic Act 6656, or “An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization.”

The anti-graft court ordered Varela detained for five years. He must also pay a P5,000 fine and is perpetually barred from holding public office.

Varela “cannot use the defense that the reorganization was authored and was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and that the recommendation for appointment to positions in the new staffing pattern was made by the Placement Committee because it was admitted that it was [him] who made and approved the appointments of the new employees to the new staffing pattern,” part of the decision read.

It added: “The violation of the Civil Service Rules (CSC) was actually committed by no less than the former mayor as he was the one who deprived the private complainants of the right of first refusal or the vest right to reappointment.”

The Office of the Ombudsman cited the May 21, 1999 CSC resolution, which stated that the reorganization approved and implemented by Valera resulted in the termination of 166 city employees.

The Sandiganbayan said Varela’s lawyers never denied that new employees were hired after the reorganization and that employees holding lower positions in the previous plantilla system were appointed to higher positions.

“The increase in the number of items re-created in the Public Health Nurse II position is also a strong indication of bad faith on the part of Varela in the approval of reorganization,” the Sandiganbayan added. (Adrian Stewart Co/PN)

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