Court extends stay of ex-DOJ chief as university prexy

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Virgil B. Lopez

Former Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero will remain as president of state-run Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), at least until the end of the month, while a Manila court is in the process of resolving the school's leadership row.

This developed after Judge Liwliwa Hidalgo-Bucu of the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 24 extended on Monday the life of the temporary restraining order (TRO) from three days to 20 days, thus stopping PLM chairman Amado Valdez from assuming as acting president.

"Since a 72-hour TRO was earlier issued by the Honorable Reynaldo Alhambra, First Vice Executive Judge on July 10, 2014, the effectivity of the restraining order shall include the aforesaid 72-hour TRO," the order stated.

A hearing to determine whether there is a need for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction will be held on Wednesday.

Tuquero, also a retired Court of Appeals (CA) justice, questioned the Board of Regents (BOR) Resolution dated July 8, 2014 recalling his election as PLM president on the basis of the decision of Civil Service Commission (CSC) that found him ineligible to hold the post due to lack of doctor's degree.

He also assailed the letter dated July 9 issued by former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada designating Valdez as PLM's acting head.

Citing provisions of the PLM Charter (Republic Act 4196), Tuquero said the university president is elected by the Board of Regents and not appointed by the City Mayor and that he cannot be removed by a mere board resolution, which was allegedly made in haste.

"Certainly, the CSC decision cannot prevail over a law that created PLM. Under the law, the university president is elected by the BOR and can only be removed for just cause and after due process," said PLM board secretary Carlos Carlos.

Under the law, a PLM president can only be replaced due to any of these grounds: incapacity, incompetence, dishonesty and/or conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. (Sunnex)

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