CA throws lawsuit against immigration employee into “pastilles” scam

MANILA – The Court of Appeal (CA) rejected a petition filed by one of the 44 employees of the Immigration Office (BI) accused before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the corruption scandal “pastillas” last year .

In a resolution written by Deputy Judge Geraldine C. Fiel-Macaraig released recently, the Ninth Division of the Court of Appeal dismissed the petition filed by Jennifer Timbreza and his wife Al-Saad N. Timbreza, adding that the same had filed late.

The petitioner was among those accused by the Ombudsman of serious misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the service and had been placed on preventive suspension on 26 October last.

Last January, the Ombudsman ordered Timbreza to file a counter-affidavit to the complaint filed against her by the National Bureau of Investigation – Special Action Unit.

Timbreza told the Ombudsman that the copy of the complaint did not contain any supporting affidavits or documents and should no longer be used against her. Last March, the Québec Ombudsman subsequently provided him with a copy of said affidavits and supporting documents.

In her petition to the CA, Timbreza claimed that she was deprived of her constitutional due process right when she was suspended without pay and when asked to file counter-affidavits to the complaint that no. did not originally have the supporting documents.

The court said, however, that the petitioner had 60 days from receipt of the contested orders, but the petition was not filed until late on June 15.

“As a result, this tribunal no longer has jurisdiction to rule on the petition in this case,” the tribunal said.

Last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte personally summoned the misguided immigration officials and gave them a disguise in Malacañang.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the suspension following a report from BI indicating there were discrepancies between the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and salaries of some employees targeted by the airport corruption program.

The bribery scheme refers to the operation in which the fatty money was wrapped in paper, such as the wrapping of “lozenges”, a milk candy.

The scheme came to light in February last year, when corrupt immigration officials allowed Chinese nationals to enter the country without going through background checks in exchange for money. (ANP)

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