Aumentado contests Ombudsman suspension

CEBU CITY – Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado is seeking the immediate lifting of the preventive suspension order issued against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.



The governor said that he filed a motion for reconsideration before the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday, June 11, to contest his suspension.

Aumentado received the suspension order on May 28.

He, along with 68 other current and former government officials, were suspended for six months amid allegations of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service in connection to the construction of Captain’s Peak Resort within the Chocolate Hills.

Aumentado admitted he was surprised with the suspension.

“I am genuinely surprised by this preventive suspension order. I categorically deny any involvement in the approval of the construction, operation, and expansion of Captain’s Peak Resort. These charges are baseless and lack any factual foundation,” the governor said in a statement.

In the motion for reconsideration, Aumentado's legal counsel emphasized that the governor had no hand in the approval processes for Captain’s Peak Resort.

The motion outlines that the resort's development commenced in 2018 at the time when Aumentado was serving a second term as the congressman of the second district of Bohol and long before his assumption as governor in June 2022.

Aumentado said that he was not invited to nor attended the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) meeting on July 14, 2022, where the resolution endorsing the development of Captain’s Peak Resort was approved.

"I did not receive any invitation for the July 14, 2022 PAMB meeting, and I did not attend this meeting. It is not fair to hold me accountable for decisions made without my knowledge or participation," Aumentado asserted.

The motion underscored the absence of strong evidence of guilt, a requisite for the issuance of a preventive suspension order.

"There is no document or act that links me to the approval or support of the resort's construction, operation, and expansion. My conscience is clear. I have no hand in that fiasco, whatsoever," Aumentado said.

In seeking the immediate lifting of the preventive suspension order, Aumentado urged the Ombudsman to conduct a fair and thorough preliminary investigation.

"This motion aims to protect my rights and ensure that the principles of due process are upheld. The people of Bohol deserve a government that is transparent and just. I am fully committed to protecting the Chocolate Hills as it truly a natural wonder," said Aumentado.