PSU president suspended anew

By July 18, 2021Inside News

THE president of the Pangasinan State University (PSU) was suspended for three months from July 9 to October 8, 2021 by the Ombudsman as a result of a case filed against him three years ago by one of his professors for simple neglect of duty.

This was confirmed in a letter on June 28, 2021 to Assistant Secretary Jaime Mabilin of the Presidential Complaint Center in Malacañang, by Ailene Batang, acting PSU Board Secretary.

The Ombudsman found Buted liable for simple neglect of duty in the case filed by Galahad Randall Unciano, after determining that “While it may be true that the imposition of sanctions on erring PSU employees calls for the exercise of discretion, respondent Buted, as head of the agency and disciplining authority, should resolve the complaint through written decision which must be communicated to the parties concerned so that the aggrieved party could take the necessary remedy if he opts to do so. His refusal to take the proper action on the counter-charge filed by herein complainant amounts to simple neglect of duty.”

Buted sought to counter the suspension by invoking his motion for reconsideration that he filed on Dec. 15, 2019, citing Section 8 of Administrative Order No. 7 or the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman as amended by Administrative Order No. 17  dated Sept. 15, 2003…”

Unciano said in an interview that his complaint against Buted emanated from the delay of the issuance of grades of his students and he was suspended from his work only verbally.

Unciano, according to Buted, is no longer connected with the PSU since 2016.

Buted, in a separate interview, said Unciano originally complained against two other PSU Urdaneta officials, and he forwarded Unciano’s complaint to the PSU Board of Regents, knowing he is not the disciplining authority. “I cannot suspend, I cannot terminate (employees),” he said.

He said the suspension he faces is part of his leadership — and is aware of the risks that went as he accepted his presidency. “If you are a leader, you must be firm. Don’t be dismayed by whatever allegations or hurts, that’s the price of leadership,” he said.

In the meantime, Dr. Elbert Galas will assume the OIC post for the next three months.

Buted said he respects the decision of the Ombudsman, and expressed confidence that people can see the good things he has been doing in PSU.

He added he remains happy that he can feel the love of his PSU family, most especially the students.

With the transformation he has made with the PSU, Buted stressed that he is proud to say that complaints like Unciano’s are mere small things like this and nothing about graft and corruption.

 Buted was suspended for nine months in 2018.

Meanwhile Unciano said he had mixed emotions over the delayed decision and believes. Buted deserves more than three months of suspension.

 Unciano said he filed a complaint against then-PSU Urdaneta Campus Executive Director Dr. Paulo Cenas, and a registrar, whom he accused of not releasing the certificate of grades to DOST scholars even after he had submitted the grades.

Unciano said Buted ‘failed to address the problem’ by not acting on the problem and filed administrative complaints against Buted for abuse of authority, grave misconduct, neglect of duty, serious dishonest, and violation of Republic Act 6713.

Buted belied Unciano’s claims and said Unciano did not submit the grades on time. (Eva Visperas/Ahikam Pasion)

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