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SC orders to investigate Marawi RTC on Macatanong's case

Marawi City, Lanao del sur
March 31, 2016

The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing an adjustment on the date of birth of a former Marawi City schools superintendent which would have kept her in government service beyond retirement age.

The petition filed by former Marawi City Schools Division Superintendent Mona Macatanong, which was dismissed by the highest court of the land, assailed the appellate court's decision annulling the judgment rendered by Branch 9 of the Marawi RTC which granted her petition for correction of her date of birth in public records.

The Supreme Court also ordered the investigation of the Marawi RTC's “highly questionable” handling of Macatanong’s petition for correction of her date of birth.

“The ARMM government, especially the regional Department of Education, knew from the very start that Macatanong’s resistance regarding her retirement lacked merit. We pursued legal action because we knew that the rule of law was on our side, and this Supreme Court decision affirms our position,” Secretary John Magno of the Department of Education-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) told the media.

Macatanong was ordered to vacate her office in May 2014 after she turned 65 years old, the compulsory retirement age for government employees, on October 2013. She resisted and insisted on the correction of her date of birth, which the Marawi RTC allowed, in order to extend her tenure until 2016.

Apart from denying Macatanong’s petition for certiorari, the high court also directed the Office of the Court Administrator and the Office of the Bar Confidant to conduct an investigation regarding the RTC's “highly questionable” handling of Macatanong’s petition.

The investigation may lead to the filing of administrative and criminal charges against Judge Gamor Disalo, who allowed the correction.

ARMM's officials welcomed the high court's decision.

Amir Mawallil, ARMM's executive director for youth affairs, said: “That the high court will decide in our favor regarding this case was expected. It has been two years since the legal proceedings regarding Macatanong’s tenure as schools division superintendent began and this is a welcome development that will set the record straight once and for all.” 

Mawallil said the removal also eased the ARMM’s continuous process to root out corruption in the education sector since ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman was appointed as caretaker to institutionalize reforms in the autonomous region in 2011. Hataman was elected regional governor in 2013 and is seeking reelection in the May 9 polls.

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