Ombudsman orders suspension of ex-CHED director

THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman has directed the Commission on Education (CHEd) to suspend former executive director Julito D. Vitriolo after finding him guilty of simple misconduct. In its Oct. 11 decision, released yesterday, the Ombudsman ordered a three month suspension without pay against Mr. Vitriolo for the issuance of a memorandum without CHEd’s approval. “Respondent Julito D. Vitriolo is hereby found guilty of Simple Misconduct and is meted the penalty of suspension from the service for three months without pay,” the decision read in part. The case stemmed from a 2017 complaint filed by former CHEd chair Patricia B. Licuanan after Mr. Vitriolo issued a memorandum recommending the issuance of a provincial permit for St. Anthony College of Science and Technology to offer the first and second year levels of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The memo contradicts the CHEd en banc’s disapproval of the school’s application. The Ombudsman order noted that should Mr. Vitriolo be separated from service, he will be slapped with a fine equivalent to his latest salary for three months. This may also be deducted from his retirement benefits or accrued leave credits. CHEd Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera, in a statement on Tuesday, said Mr. Vitriolo had earlier been dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over alleged irregularities at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

SC affirms decision reinstating case vs Sulpicio Lines official


THE SUPREME Court has declared final its December 2018 decision reinstating the reckless imprudence charge against an official of Sulpicio Lines, Inc. (SLI) in connection with the 2008 capsizing of M/V Princess of the Stars where more than 227 passengers died. The entry of judgement dated June 17, a copy of which was released Tuesday, said the Dec. 10, 2018 decision of the court’s third division has become “final and executory.” The decision reverses the resolution of the Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of Edgar S. Go, then first vice-president for administration and team leader of the Crisis Management Committee of SLI. It ordered the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 5 to reinstate the case against Mr. Go. M/V Princess of the Stars capsized in June 2008 in the waters off Sibuyan Islands during a typhoon. The Department of Justice in 2009 indicted Mr. Go, saying he is “unarguably involved in deciding if the ship should be allowed to sail and he allowed the captain and the safety officer to decide among themselves whether should they depart.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas