Former Commission on Higher Education executive director Julito D. Vitriolo has been dismissed by the Ombudsman Monday, Dec. 16, due to conduct prejudicial to public interest.
The Ombudsman approved the decision which finds Vitriolo liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and simple misconduct, refusal to perform official duties/misconduct and violation of Section 4 of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).
The dismissal was based on a case filed by former CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan against Vitriolo in 2016 when Vitriolo called for the resignation of Licuanan.
The Ombudsman said that in asking for the resignation of Licuanan and in inducing others to seek her replacement as CHED Chairperson, Vitriolo overstepped the bounds of propriety and ethical standards. His comportment tarnished the image of his office as he created an atmosphere of leadership impasse within CHED and sowed disunity.
Vitriolo was previously dismissed in December 2016 by former Ombudsman Conchita Morales on alleged irregularities at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). The administrative liability of Vitriolo anent the charges hurled against him by Oliver Felix, former faculty member of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, has yet to be resolved by the SC. It is a live issue which is still pending determination in the separate pending case docketed as G.R. No. 237129 entitled “Oliver B. Felix v. Julito D. Vitriolo.”
Despite the pendency of the case, the Ombudsman said that the dismissal order of is immediately executory and CHED should implement the order and dismiss Vitriolo anew from government service.
Vitriolo was also ordered suspended for 3 months by Ombudsman Martires on Oct. 4, 2019 afer Vitriolo issued a memorandum recommending that CHEd issue a provisional permit in favor of a private school. The memorandum was in violation of CHEd’s en banc resolution, which earlier disapproved the said school’s application.
“CHED fully supports the efforts of the Ombudsman to expedite action on cases against public officials. The Commission recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ombudsman and the University of the Philippines to aggressively promote ethics and accountability in higher education institutions (HEIs),” CHED Chairman Prospero ‘Popoy’ de Vera said.
“As part of our commitment to fully support the efforts of the Ombudsman to cleanse the bureaucracy and instill good governance, CHED will make sure that the commission is a bastion of good governance practices,” De Vera added.