THE conflict between Pangasinan State University president Dexter Buted and PSU executive director Marcelo Gutierrez Jr. on one side and Ricardo Tapia on the other appears far from over following a resolution of the third division of the Supreme Court on March 25, 2019 denying the two officials’ appeal.
The Third Division of the Supreme Court, a copy of the dispositive portion reached The PUNCH before deadline, denied the motion of Buted and Gutierrez with finality when they questioned their 9-month suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman issued way back in January 2018.
Buted has since been reappointed to a new tour of duty as PSU president since the suspension order was issued.
The Ombudsman found both Buted and Gutierrez guilty of oppression in connection with the dismissal of Ricardo Tapia, a faculty member of PSU Binmaley in an order promulgated by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio. Tapia filed the complaint.
Buted and Gutierrez first appealed their suspension before the Court of Appeals which later resolved to deny the petition for failure of the petitioners to show the reversible error in the assailed judgment “to warrant the exercise of this Court’s discretionary appellate jurisdiction”.
The two elevated the matter to the Supreme Court but the Tribunal’s Third Division denied the motion with finality as no substantial arguments were raised to warrant the reconsideration.
In a brief interview for his reaction to our PUNCH story, Buted said he will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision but even as he complies, he will continue to exhaust all legal means still available to him. He said he will consult his lawyer next week.
“I am here to serve,” he intoned.
Per the PSU’s records, Buted already served the 9-month suspension in 2018 by the Ombudsman.
Reacting to the resolution of the Supreme Court’s Third Division, Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario said “this clearly states that no one is above the law”.
“Di nasayang ang ipinaglaban natin. A moral victory of Pangasainan, said Rosario, author of a resolution in the provincial board which one time declared Buted persona non-grata for repeatedly ignoring invitations of the legislative body for him to appear to shed light on the seemingly anomalous on-the-job training program of PSU.
“I think there will be no reason for Buted to remain in office. The Civil Service Commission should act immediate by issuing an order. Maybe Buted should voluntarily vacate his post. Goodbye again,” said Rosario, citing the SC resolution.
The PUNCH tried to reach Buted for his reaction but to no avail. (Leonardo Micua)
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