The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed for lack of merit a petition filed by Bureau of Customs (BOC) official Teodoro Jumamil questioning his suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a 16-page decision on September 22, the CA’s Special Third Division said Jumamil “miserably failed to prove that (the) Ombudsman acted with grave abuse of discretion in ordering his preventive suspension pending the investigation of his case”.
In June 2020, the Ombudsman placed Jumamil under preventive suspension for six months pending the investigation of the charges of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and violation of Republic Act No. 3019 (RA 3019).
In a public address last month, President Rodrigo Duterte identified Jumamil as “very corrupt” and taking advantage of his perceived closeness to the Chief Executive.
In 2016, Duterte appointed Jumamil as member of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) board of directors. However, BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero requested Jumamil’s assistance in managing the affairs of the bureau.
Jumamil was offered the plantilla position of Attorney V that requires him to assist Guerrero on legal matters without compensation.
In December 2018, Guerrero recommended to the Department of Finance (DOF) the appointment of Jumamil as Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue and Collections Monitoring Group (RCMG) of the BOC.
The legality of Jumamil’s dual positions in the BOC and the DBP evolved and on July 9, 2019, he gave up his BOC post.
However, recognizing Jumamil’s vital role in the BOC, Guerrero requested DBP chairman Alberto Romulo to allow Jamamil to serve as a part-time consultant of the BOC. Notwithstanding Romulo’s favorable action on Guerrero’s request, Jumamil declined the offer.
Duterte had cautioned Guerrero from keeping Jumamil in the BOC.
In its decision, the CA directed Jumamil to explain within five days why he failed to disclose in the petition his claim that he commenced serving his preventive suspension on July 2, 2020.
“The Code of Professional Responsibility ordains that a lawyer shall not to do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing thereof in court. Furthermore, Rule 12.04 provides that lawyers shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment, or misuse Court processes,” the appellate court said. (PNA)