MCIAA official clings to post, cites non-receipt of suspension order

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MACTAN-CEBU International Airport Authority (MCIAA) general manager Steve Dicdican has not stepped down from his post even though the Office of the Ombudsman already ordered his preventive suspension for allegedly violating the Anti-Dummy Law by allowing foreigners to run the airport’s operations.

“I have not received a copy of the order, so it’s not yet effective and there’s nothing for me to appeal. I’m still the GM. It’s fortunate too since I can still handle this emerging situation with the new mutated Covid-19 strains and the change in travel and health protocols. During a pandemic, we really need all hands on deck. The Ombudsman ought to know that,” Dicdican said in a text message.

His response came after the Ombudsman ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit the status of the implementation of his six-month preventive suspension.

In a press release on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, the Office of the Ombudsman called the attention of the office of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and asked for an update after it received reports that the respondent continued to report to office.

“A copy of the preventive suspension order was likewise served upon Attorney Dicdican through his official email address in accordance with the Supreme Court 2019 Revised Rules of Procedure. As a lawyer, he should not wait that the order be officially served upon him by the DOTr secretary because he is expected to observe compliance with lawful orders of duly constituted authorities,” the ombudsman’s office said.

However, Dicdican asked the Ombudsman to read its order.

“It directs the DOTr to implement the order. It does not direct me to suspend myself,” he said.

“Also, they are misrepresenting the Revised Rules of Procedure. Service upon me by electronic means and fascimile may only be made if I consent to such mode of service. I have not consented to such service nor would I ever consent. If the Ombudsman wants to acquire jurisdiction over my person, I will only honor personal service or by registered mail,” he said.

Under the Ombudsman’s rules on procedure, a compliance report must be submitted by the DOTr within three calendar days from receipt of the order of implementation.

Tugade’s office was provided copies of Dicdican’s preventive suspension on Dec. 17 yet. (JOB)