DOJ DISMISSES GOVERNMENT LAWYER - A first in the pursuit of accountability of public officers

14 May 2012

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently affirmed the dismissal of a Government Corporate Attorney from the service for gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of reasonable office rules and regulations.

In the resolution of Administrative Case No. 2010-01 dated 12 March 2012, Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima found Atty. Edgardo G. Bañiaga, Government Corporate Attorney III of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), guilty of the said offenses. Finding substantial evidence, the resolution imposed upon the respondent the penalty of dismissal from the service.

"This is the first time in the history of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel that a lavvyer has been dismissed. We are thankful for the firm action of our Secretary," said Raoul C. Creencia, incumbent Government Corporate Counsel who recommended Bañiaga's dismissal.

It was found that Atty. Bañiaga signed a litigious pleading for and in behalf of a client without having it signed by his superiors, which is in violation of OGCC rules. Likewise, Bañiaga failed to inform his superiors about the adverse decision of the case and observe the period to timely file an appeal or motion for reconsideration.

The OGCC is an attached agency of the DOJ whose primary function is to serve as the principal law office of all GOCCs, their subsidiaries, other corporate offsprings, government financial institutions and government acquired asset corporations.

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