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Appeals Court lifts Paulate suspension in 'ghost employee' case

The Court of Appeals has temporarily lifted the suspension imposed on actor and Quezon City councilor Roderick Paulate and two others by the Office of the Ombudsman in May. The Ombusdman ordered the preventive suspension without pay of Paulate, fellow Q.C. councilor Francisco Calalay and liaison Vicente Bajamunde for allegedly putting “ghost employees” on the payroll. “This Court finds that Petitioners will suffer great or irreparable injury if no temporary restraining orger will be issued…Thus, a temporary restraining order is issued effective 60 days upon notice,” associate justice Socorro Inting said in the Ninth Division's four-page decision. They were previously charged with serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, falsification of official documents and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service. The Ombudsman and the Department of Interior and Local Government, named as respondents, were given 10 days to comment. The petitioners may file a reply five days after receipt of the respondents' comment. — BM, GMA News