The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a three-month suspension on Commission on Higher Education executive director Julito Vitriolo for simple misconduct.
In an Oct. 4 order released to the media just Tuesday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Vitriolo was found guilty of simple misconduct and would be suspended for three months without pay.
Vitriolo had just been reinstated to his post based on a writ quo warranto issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s Branch 83 Judge Ralph Lee.
In September, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals to reinstate Vitriolo as CHED executive director.
The suspension order on Vitriolo stemmed from complaint of then CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan, who accused him of issuing a memorandum to favor the release of a provisional permit to a private school in violation of an en banc resolution that disapproved the school’s application.
In 2017, the Ombudsman dismissed Vitriolo for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty in a complaint filed by ex-faculty member Oliver Felix over his failure to investigate reports that the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pilipinas was being used as a diploma mill.
At Tuesday’s news conference at CHED, Vitriolo through his lawyer Arnold Guerrero, said they have filed a motion to cite Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro, whom he replaced following the lower court order, for contempt before Branch 83.
A hearing is set on Oct. 24.
CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III said Benitez-Jaro is still CHED executive director.
“Until the court decides on the motion for reconsideration, then the commission stands by its position that he [Vitriolo] is not the executive director,” he said in a statement.
But Vitriolo called on De Vera to respect the rule of law.
READ: Respect my reinstatement in CHED—Vitriolo