Malacañang shortens Abellana’s suspension

THE Office of the President has modified the decision of the Cebu City Council that previously suspended Mambaling barangay captain Gines Abellana for 24 months for grave abuse of authority on Jan. 9, 2019.In a decision signed by former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia last May 30, 2022, the Office of then President Rodrigo Duterte partly granted Abellana’s appeal and suspended the latter for only six months instead.Medialdia pointed out that Abellana faced only one administrative offense. The case was filed by four barangay councilors.“The appeal is partly granted. The decision dated 08 January 2019 of Sanguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu is modified in that appellant Atty. Gines N. Abellana is meted the penalty of suspension for six months without pay,” read part of the decision.Abellana earlier appealed the decision of the City Council’s Committee of Three that imposed on him a two-year suspension or 24 months after the Committee compounded the six-month penalty by the number of appellees.The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Barangay Mambaling councilors Anne Marie Vestil, Edwil Managbanag, Victoriano Laborte and Neonita Cuestas.Abellana was cited for grave abuse of authority over his refusal to release the councilors’ honoraria after they failed to heed his memorandum issued in July 2018 for all barangay councilors to work five hours each week as “officer of the day” at the Barangay Hall.Abellana and the four councilors come from opposing parties, Partido Barug and Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan respectively.