The Junior Faculty Club of the Western Mindanao State University yesterday urged the University Board of Regents to reconsider and correct moto propio its error in issuing a preventive suspension on Dr. Grace J. Rebollos as WMSU president.
Prof. Mahmor N. “Moy” Edding, club chairman, warned that the Board of Regents (BOR) should not wait for a competent authority to declare its act unjustified or illegal, otherwise it will be held criminally liable for such illegal action.
Since the suspension order is unjustified and in the name of justice and in the interest of public service, Edding urged the Board of Regents to lift the suspension and reinstate Dr. Rebollos as WMSU president the soonest time possible.
The young Edding cited a decision of the Commission on Audit on a related case which says that “back salary of officials and employees whose suspension is declared illegal by a competent authority is a personal liability of the official responsible for the illegal suspension.”
Edding described as highly unjustified and illegal the 90-day preventive suspension of Dr. Grace J. Rebollos.
He pointed out that the grounds cited by the Board of Regents (BOR) in suspending Dr. Rebollos are not one of those enumerated in Sec. 51 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987.
Under the law, Edding said, “the proper disciplining authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in the performance of duty…”
“The Board of Regents (BOR) made a mockery of the law by adding ‘gross’ to the charges as Gross Neglect of Duty and Gross Insubordination against Dr. Rebollos,” Edding lamented.
According to Edding, the Fact Finding Committee submitted its report to the BOR on May 7, 2008 “for its consideration and appropriate action,” but it did not evaluate and determine the same in any of its meetings.
Instead, Edding further said, the BOR immediately issued a joint formal charge and preventive suspension order on May 9, 2008 and barely two days later on May 12, 2008 designated an officer-in-charge of the WMSU presidency.
Moreover, Edding said the preventive suspension order was not signed by the BOR members, either who voted in favor or against, considering that the board is a collegial body and as such the members should have reflected their signatures in the order.
Hence, Edding urged the University Board secretary to reveal the names of all those who voted for or against Dr. Rebollos’ preventive suspension for the public to know.
He further lamented that the BOR has never come up with the internal rules and regulations in dealing with its own members involving administrative disciplinary actions.
To recall, last May 12, the WMSU-BOR chaired by CHEd Commissioner Luningning Umar passed Resolution No. 31 preventively suspending Dr. Rebollos for 90 days for alleged gross neglect of duty and gross insubordination.