DAGUPAN CITY — After being suspended for nine months on 2018 due to oppression, Pangasinan State University President Dr. Dexter Buted is, once again, under punitive suspension — After three long years of delay since the Ombudsman released its decision against him.
This was through Resolution No. 80 series of 2021, which was approved by the PSU Board of Regents through an online meeting held on June 21, 2021.
The resolution states Buted be suspended for three months, in accordance with the Ombudsman Decision dated January 2, 2018 in Docket No. OMB-L-A-17-0013, effective July 9, 2021 until October 8, 2021.
Galahad Randall Unciano, former PSU faculty member and complainant behind the Ombudsman Docket, said he had mixed emotions over the delayed decision.
While he respects the Office of the Ombudsman’s power as the deciding authority, he personally thinks Buted should deserve more than three months of suspension.
“Wala tayong magagawa pero personally he should deserve more than that”, said Unciano in an interview.
Buted’s suspension stemmed from Unciano’s complaint to the former’s desk.
Unciano said he filed a complaint against then-PSU Urdaneta Campus Executive Director Dr. Paulo Cenas, and a registrar, after he was allegedly placed in a ‘pinch’.
“Iniipit nila ako hindi inirerelease certificate of grades of students na DOST scholars, I already provided the grades but students cannot submit to dost to claim their scholarship grants. He [Cenas] was enjoining students to file complaints against me”, said Unciano.
However, instead of responding and acting to the complaint, Unciano claimed Buted ‘failed to address the problem’ by not acting on it.
“It was sensitive It Included falsification of documents, and also inducing students, obstructing service of welfare and services. Buted simply brushed it away”, Unciano claimed.
Unciano filed administrative complaints against Buted regarding abuse of authority, grave misconduct, neglect of duty, serious dishonest, and violation of Republic Act 6713.
However, the Ombudsman only found Buted guilty of Neglect of Duty — which merited his three-month punitive suspension.
The Ombudsman order arrived on January 25, 2018, which led to many asking why Buted’s suspension was implemented three years and six months after.
CHED Commissioner and PSU Board of Regent Chairman Ronald Adamat, denied claims of ‘delaying tactics’ behind Buted’s punitive suspension.
Adamat said Buted immediately sent a motion for reconsideration (MR) to the Ombudsman upon receipt of their order. The Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) was also sought for advice.
“According to the opinion of OSG, pwedeng hindi muna siya ma-suspend unless may decision na ang Ombudsman to reject the motion for reconsideration, nevertheless, kahit wala pang action ang Ombudsman, we took it upon ourselves and called for the implementation of the suspension, to which the Board eventually agreed”, said Adamat.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Dr. Dexter Buted revealed his side of the story.
He belied Unciano’s claims, and instead said that it was Unciano who was not submitting grades, prompting Cenas and the registrar to admonish the former.
Buted said after much follow-up, Unciano eventually submitted the grades, but he then complained to Buted.
“Nagcomplain siya sa akin, pinalitan daw ni Dr. Pau at ng registrar ang grade na ibinigay niya sa bata”, said Buted.
Buted said he received Unciano’s complaint and acted on it by bringing it up for discussion during their regular BOR meeting.
The BOR eventually gave Buted the authority to create an investigating committee, to which he turned over the chair of said committee to the legal office.
“That ends my part as the president”, said Buted. “Unfortunately, hindi umusad ang kaniyang kaso”.
As for his reaction to the suspension, Buted said he was willing to respect the law, and that he is already on vacation.
“Respetuhin natin ang desisyon ng Ombudsman”, Buted added.
He added the suspension he faces is part of his leadership — and is aware of the risks that went as he accepted his presidency.
“You should be courageous, tanggapin na lang para sa katahimikan ng lahat. Posisyon lang yan”, he said.
Meanwhile, Buted said he will spend his punitive suspension taking care of his body “Tumatanda na tayo”, he jokingly said.
In the meantime, Dr. Elbert Galas will assume the OIC post for the next three months.
Adamat assured Galas as OIC would not affect the university’s projects and policies.
“He [Galas] would act only as interim vice chairman of the Board, but in a very limited capacity”, clarified Adamat.
Adamat downplayed Buted pulling the strings behind the suspension.
“I will not let that happen”, said Adamat.
Buted was suspended for nine months on 2018 by the Ombudsman due to oppression — for arbitrarily dismissing a faculty member.
He was suspended along with PSU-Binmaley CED Marcelo Gutierrez Jr.