Political Law

Olivia Leones vs Judge Carlito Corpuz et al

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G.R. No. 204106 – Political Law – Law on Public Officers – Retirement – Voluntary Separation from Service; Optional Retirement

Olivia Leones sued the Municipality of Bacnotan, La Union, for unpaid RATA (Representation and Time Allowance). In fact, her case reached the Supreme Court and she won the case. Unfortunately, the Municipality still failed to pay her the amount adjudged to be paid so she again sued the LGU. The case was filed at the Regional Trial Court of the City of San Fernando, La Union, Branch 27, presided by Judge Carlito Corpuz. Leones and the Municipality however entered into a compromise agreement where it was agreed upon, among others, that (a) the RATA amounting to over a million pesos shall be paid in installment until June 2011 (b) Leones shall retire on 31 May 2012, and (c) after everything has been complied, she shall withdraw the case she filed against the Municipality.

The Municipality was able to pay the RATA as scheduled. In June 2012, Leones learned that she was dropped from the payroll. Meanwhile, the Municipality, through its mayor, Rufino Fontanilla, moved for the issuance of a writ of execution. Judge Corpuz granted the motion. Leones directly filed a certiorari petition to the Supreme Court. She now claims that the compromise agreement is void.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition may be granted.

HELD: No. Firstly, the petition is improper as it bypassed the Court of Appeals. Secondly, the petition has no merit. Records show that the proposal for retirement came from Leones herself. She signed the compromise agreement voluntarily. She cannot now say that the same is invalid. When she signed the compromise agreement, it was as if she already submitted her notice of retirement as she agreed to retire on the date provided therein. Thus, she cannot now argue that she is being illegally dismissed simply because the Municipality sought the enforcement of the compromise agreement.

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