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Romualdez-Marcos vs.

Imelda, a little over 8 years old, in or about 1938, established her domicile in Tacloban, Leyte where she
studied and graduated high school in the Holy Infant Academy from 1938 to 1949. She then pursued her
college degree, education, in St. Pauls College now Divine Word University also in Tacloban. Subsequently,
she taught in Leyte Chinese School still in Tacloban. She went to manila during 1952 to work with her
cousin, the late speaker Daniel Romualdez in his office in the House of Representatives. In 1954, she
married late President Ferdinand Marcos when he was still a Congressman of Ilocos Norte and was
registered there as a voter. When Pres. Marcos was elected as Senator in 1959, they lived together in San
Juan, Rizal where she registered as a voter. In 1965, when Marcos won presidency, they lived in
Malacanang Palace and registered as a voter in San Miguel Manila. She served as member of the Batasang
Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila during 1978.
Imelda Romualdez-Marcos was running for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte for
the 1995 Elections. Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent Representative of the First District of Leyte and also
a candidate for the same position, filed a Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification" with the
Commission on Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency.
The petitioner, in an honest misrepresentation, wrote seven months under residency, which she sought to
rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy filed on
March 29, 1995 and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or residence. She
arrived at the seven months residency due to the fact that she became a resident of the Municipality of
Tolosa in said months.
ISSUE: Whether petitioner has satisfied the 1year residency requirement to be eligible in running as
representative of the First District of Leyte.
Residence is used synonymously with domicile for election purposes. The court are in favor of a conclusion
supporting petitoners claim of legal residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte despite her own
declaration of 7 months residency in the district for the following reasons:
1. A minor follows domicile of her parents. Tacloban became Imeldas domicile of origin by operation of
law when her father brought them to Leyte;
2. Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention
of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the
purpose. In the absence and concurrence of all these, domicile of origin should be deemed to continue.
3. A wife does not automatically gain the husbands domicile because the term residence in Civil Law
does not mean the same thing in Political Law. When Imelda married late President Marcos in 1954, she
kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home and not domicilium necessarium.
4. Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired right to choose a new one
only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon returning to the country clearly indicated that she
chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice. To add, petitioner even obtained her
residence certificate in 1992 in Tacloban, Leyte while living in her brothers house, an act, which supports
the domiciliary intention clearly manifested. She even kept close ties by establishing residences in
Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important milestones.
WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for
a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions
dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby
directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected
Representative of the First District of Leyte.

Mitra vs. COMELEC

We resolve the Motion for Reconsideration Filed by public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
and the Motion for Reconsideration with Motion for Oral Arguments filed by private respondents Antonio V.
Gonzales and Orlando R. Balbon, Jr. (private respondents), dated July 19, 2010 and July 20, 2010,
respectively, addressing our Decision of July 2, 2010 (July 2, 2010 Decision or Decision).We annulled in this
Decision the February 10, 2010 and May 4, 2010 Resolutions of the COMELEC, and denied the private
respondents petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of petitioner Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra
To recall its highlights, our Decision emphasized that despite our limited certiorari jurisdiction in election
cases, we are not only obliged but are constitutionally bound to intervene when the COMELEC's action on
the appreciation and evaluation of evidence oversteps the limits of its discretion in this case, a situation
where resulting errors, arising from the grave abuse committed by the COMELEC, mutated from being
errors of judgment to errors of jurisdiction.Based on our evaluation of the evidence presented by both
parties, we found that Mitra did not commit any deliberate material misrepresentation in his COC.We
noted, too, that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in its appreciation of the evidence, leading it to
conclude that Mitra is not a resident of Aborlan, Palawan.We also found that the COMELEC failed to
critically consider whether Mitra deliberately attempted to mislead, misinform or hide a fact that would
otherwise render him ineligible for the position of Governor of Palawan.
On the critical question of whether Mitra deliberately misrepresented his Aborlan residence to deceive and
mislead the people of the Province of Palawan, we found that Mitra did not. In fact, Mitra adduced positive
evidence of transfer of residence which the private respondents evidence failed to sufficiently
controvert.Specifically, the private respondents evidence failed to show that Mitra remained a Puerto
Princesa City resident.
In this regard, we took note of the incremental moves Mitra undertook to establish his new domicile in
Aborlan, as evidenced by the following:(1) hisexpressed intentto transfer to a residence outside of Puerto
Princesa City to make him eligible for a provincial position; (2) his preparatory moves starting in early
2008; (3) the transfer of registration as a voter in March 2009; (4) his initial transfer through a leased
dwelling at Maligaya Feedmill; (5) the purchase of a lot for his permanent home; and (6) the construction
of a house on the said lot which is adjacent to the premises he was leasing pending the completion ofhis
house.Thus, we found that under the situation prevailing when Mitra filed his COC, there is no reason to
infer that Mitra committed any misrepresentation, whether inadvertently or deliberately, in claiming
residence in Aborlan.We also emphasized that the COMELEC could not even present any legally acceptable
basis (as it used subjective non-legal standards in its analysis) to conclude that Mitras statement in his
COC concerning his residence was indeed a misrepresentation.In sum, we concluded that the evidence in
the present case, carefully reviewed, showed that Mitra indeed transfered his residence from Puerto
Princesa City to Aborlan within the period required by law.
In its Motion for Reconsideration dated July 19, 2010, the COMELEC, through the Office of the Solicitor
General, asks us to reconsider our July 2, 2010 Decision. The COMELEC argues that we overstepped our
review power over its factual findings; as a specialized constitutional body, the findings and conclusions of
the COMELEC are generally respected and even given the status of finality.The COMELEC also contends
that the Court erred in taking cognizance of the present petition since the issues raised therein are
essentially factual in nature.It claims that it is elementary that the extraordinary remedy ofcertiorariis
limited to correcting questions of law and that the factual issues raised in the present petition are not
appropriate for a petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUES: Whether the SC erred when it reviewed the probative value of the evidence presented and
substituted its own factual findings over that of the public respondent.
ELECTION LAW: residence
The private respondents fail to realize that the important considerations in the present case relate to
questions bearing on the cancellation of the COC that they prayed for; the main critical points are the
alleged deliberate misrepresentation by Mitra and the underlying question of his residency in Aborlan,
While it is undisputed that Mitras domicile of origin is Puerto Princesa City, Mitra adequately proved by
substantial evidence that he transferred by incremental process to Aborlan beginning 2008, and concluded
his transfer in early 2009.As our Decision discussed and as repeated elsewhere in this Resolution, the
private respondents failed to establish by sufficiently convincing evidence that Mitra did not effectively
transfer, while the COMELEC not only grossly misread the evidence but even used the wrong
considerations in appreciating the submitted evidence.
These issues are not new issues; we extensively and thoroughly considered and resolved them in our July
2, 2010 Decision.At this point, we only need to address some of the private respondents misleading points
in order to clear the air:

1.The private respondents reliance on the expiration date of the lease contract, to disprove Mitras claim
that the room at the Maligaya Feedmill is his residence, is misplaced.This argument is flimsy since the
contract did not provide that it was completely and fully time-barred and was only up to February 28,
2010; it was renewable at the option of the parties.That a lease is fixed for a one-year term is a common
practice.What is important is that it is renewable at the option of the parties.In the absence of any
objection from the parties, the lease contract simply continues and is deemed renewed.
2.In an attempt to show that Mitra considers himself a resident of Puerto Princesa City, the private
respondents submitted in their Motion for Reconsideration a colored certified true copy of Mitras alleged
Puerto Princesa City Community Tax Certificate (CTC) dated February 3, 2009 allegedly showing Mitras
signature.To recall, we found thatbased on the records before us, the purported February 3, 2009 CTC did
not bear the signature of Mitra.Although the private respondents have belatedly filed this evidence, we
carefully examined therecently submittedcolored copy of the February 3, 2009 CTC and saw no reason to
reverse our finding; the alleged signature appears to us to be a merehazy superimposition that does not
bear any resemblance at all to Mitras signature.We, thus, stand by our ruling that the February 3, 2009
CTC, if at all, carries very little evidentiary value.It did it not at all carry Mitras signature; his secretarys
positive testimony that she secured the CTC for Mitra, without the latters participation and knowledge, still
stands unrefuted.
3.The private respondents likewise belatedly submitted a Certification, dated July 17, 2010, from the
Municipal Agriculturist of Aborlan, stating that its office does not have any record of the supposed
pineapple plantation in Barangay Isaub, Aborlan, Palawan.This late submission was made to show that
Mitra has no established business interests in Aborlan.The Certification pertinently states:
This is to certify that as of this date, there is no existing records/registration in our office regarding the
alleged pineapple plantation in Barangay Isaub, Aborlan, Palawan.However, the Office of the Municipal
Agriculturist is on the process of gathering data on the Master list of Farmers engaged in growing High
Value Commercial Crops in Aborlan.
We cannot give any evidentiary value to this submission for two reasons.First, it was filed only on
reconsideration stage and was not an evidence before us when the case was submitted for
resolution.Second, even if it had not been filed late, the Certification does not prove anything; it is, on its
face, contradictory.On the one hand, it categorically states that there are no existing records of any
pineapple plantation in Barangay Isaub, Aborlan, Palawan; on the other hand, it also expressly states that
its records are not yet complete since it is on the process of gathering data on the Master list of Farmers
engaged in growing High Value Commercial Crops in Aborlan. Under what law or regulation the certifying
office has the obligation to prepare a list of agricultural business interests in Aborlan has not even been
At the risk of repetition, we reiterate that Mitras business interests in Aborlan stand undisputed in the
present case.Not only was Mitra able to present photographs of his experimental pineapple plantation; his
claim of ownership was also corroborated by the statements of Dr. Carme Caspe, Ricardo Temple and other
ELECTION LAW: deliberate material misrepresentation in his COC
The private respondents also claim that the Court erred in ruling that Mitra did not commit any deliberate
material misrepresentation in his COC.We likewise see no merit in this claim.One important point in the
present case is that the private respondents failed to prove that there was deliberate material
misrepresentation in Mitras statement on his required residency prior to the May 10, 2010 elections. This,
as we stressed in our Decision, is a glaring gap in the private respondents case:
We do not believe that he committed any deliberate misrepresentation given what he knew of his transfer,
as shown by the moves he had made to carry it out.From the evidentiary perspective, we hold that the
evidence confirming residence in Aborlan decidedly tilts in Mitras favor; even assuming the worst for Mitra,
the evidence in his favor cannot go below the level of anequipoise, i.e.,when weighed,Mitras evidence of
transfer and residence in Aborlan cannot be overcome by the respondents evidence that he remained a
Puerto Princesa City resident.Under the situationprevailing when Mitra filed his COC, we cannot conclude
that Mitra committed any misrepresentation, much less a deliberate one, about his residence.
The character of Mitras representation before the COMELEC is an aspect of the case that the COMELEC
completely failed to consider as it focused mainly on the character of Mitras feedmill residence.For this
reason, the COMELEC was led into error one that goes beyond an ordinary error of judgment.By failing to
take into account whether there had been a deliberate misrepresentation in Mitras COC, the COMELEC
committed the grave abuse of simply assuming that an error in the COC was necessarily a deliberate
falsity in a material representation.In this case, it doubly erred because there was no falsity; as the
carefully considered evidence shows, Mitra did indeed transfer his residence within the period required by
Section 74 of the OEC.
The respondents significantly ask us in this case to adopt the same faulty approach of using subjective
norms, as they now argue thatgiven his stature as a member of the prominent Mitra clan of Palawan, and
as a three term congressman, it is highly incredible that a small room in a feed mill has served as his
residence since 2008.

We reject this suggested approach outright for the same reason we condemned the COMELECs use of
subjective non-legal standards. Mitras feed mill dwelling cannot be considered in isolation and separately
from the circumstances of his transfer of residence, specifically, hisexpressed intentto transfer to a
residence outside of Puerto Princesa City to make him eligible to run for a provincial position; his
preparatory moves starting in early 2008; his initial transfer through a leased dwelling; the purchase of a
lot for his permanent home; and the construction of a house in this lot that, parenthetically, is adjacent to
the premises he leased pending the completion of his house.These incremental moves do not offend
reason at all, in the way that the COMELECs highly subjective non-legal standards do.
Thus, we can only conclude, in the context of the cancellation proceeding before us, that the respondents
have not presented a convincing case sufficient to overcome Mitras evidence of effective transfer to and
residence in Aborlan and the validity of his representation on this point in his COC, while the COMELEC
could not even present any legally acceptable basis to conclude that Mitras statement in his COC regarding
his residence was a misrepresentation.
To summarize, both the COMELEC and private respondents have not shown, through their respective
motions, sufficient reasons to compel us to modify or reverse our July 2, 2010 Decision.
ELECTION LAW: the private respondents failed to establish by sufficiently convincing evidence
that Mitra remained a Puerto Princesa City resident
The evidence before us, properly considered and carefully reviewed, fully supports our conclusion that the
private respondents evidence failed to show that Mitra remained a Puerto Princesa City resident.As
discussed now and in our Decision of July 2, 2010, Mitra adequately proved by substantial evidence that he
transferred by incremental process to Aborlan beginning 2008, concluding his transfer in early 2009.Given
this proof, the burden of evidence lies with the private respondents to establish the contrary.
Proof to the contrary is sadly lacking, as the dissents reliance on the Certification of the Punong Barangay
of Sta. Monica,PuertoPrincesaCityis misplaced. Theponenciacannot give full evidentiary weight to the
aforementioned Certification.
To be sure, a bare certification in a disputed situation cannot suffice to conclusively establish the existence
of what the certification alleged. The purported CTC, on the other hand, was neither signed nor thumbmarked by Mitra and, thus, bore no clear indication that it had been adopted and used by Mitra as his
own.In our evaluation, we in fact pointedly emphasized that the Puerto Princesa City CTC dated February 3,
2009, if at all, carries little evidentiary value in light of Lilia Camoras (Mitras secretary) positive declaration
that she was the one who procured it, while Mitras Aborlan CTC dated March 18, 2009 carried Mitras own
signature. Camora fully explained the circumstances under which she secured the CTC of February 3, 2009
and her statement was never disputed.
On the other hand, Commodore Hernandez declaration on its face did not controvert Carme E. Caspes
sworn statement which adequately proved that Mitras transfer to Aborlan was accomplished, not in a
single move, but through an incremental process that started in early 2008 and concluded in March 2009.
ELECTION LAW: the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of the
evidence and in using wrong considerations which lead it to incorrectly conclude that Mitra is
not a resident of Aborlan and that he committed a deliberate misrepresentation in his COC
Contrary to the dissents view, the sworn statements of Maligaya Feedmills customers and former
employees that Mitra did not and could not have resided at the mezzanine portion of the Feedmill cannot
be given full evidentiary weight, since these statements are in nature of negative testimonies that do not
deserve weight and credence in the face of contrary positive evidence, particularly, Carme E. Caspes
testimony, cited above, that Mitra did indeed transfer residence in a process that was accomplished, not in
a single move, but through an incremental process that started in early 2008.It is well-settled in the rules
of evidence that positive testimony is stronger than negative testimony.
Additionally, we noted in our Decision that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion, as it failed
to correctly appreciate that the evidence clearly pointed to fact that Mitra effectively transferred his
residence to Aborlan.
To buttress our finding that the COMELEC used personal and subjective assessment standards instead of
the standards prescribed by law, we cited Coquilla v. COMELEC, which characterized the term residence as
referring to domicile or legal residence, that is the place where a party actually or constructively has his
permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to
return and remain (animus manendi).
ELECTION LAW: the validity or invalidity of the lease contract is not determinative of question
of Mitras residence in Aborlan
Beyond the arguments raised about the invalidity of the lease contract, what is significant for purposes of
this case is the immateriality of the issue to the present case.As we emphasized in our Decision:
The validity of the lease contract, however, is not the issue before us; what concerns us is the question of

whether Mitra did indeed enter into an agreement for the lease, or strictly for the use, of the Maligaya
Feedmill as his residence (while his house, on the lot he bought, was under construction) and whether he
indeed resided there.The notarys compliance with the notarial law likewise assumes no materiality as it is
a defect not imputable to Mitra; what is important is the parties affirmation before a notary public of the
contracts genuineness and due execution.
The dissents thesis that Mitras allegation in his Motion for Reconsideration (dated February 13, 2010)
before the COMELEC en banc that he had already transferred to the newly constructed house in Aborlan
negates the proposition that the lease agreement is extendible from month to month - is misleading.The
significance of Mitras statement in his Motion for Reconsideration that he had already transferred to his
newly constructed house in Aborlan must not be read in isolation; it must be appreciated under the
backdrop of Mitras explicit intention to make Aborlan his permanent residence through an incremental
transfer of residence, as evidenced by the following:
(1) his initial transfer through the leased dwelling at the mezzanine portion of the Maligaya Feedmill;
(2) the purchase of a lot for his permanent home; and
(3) the construction of a house on this lot which is adjacent to the premises he was leasing pending the
completion of his house.
All these should of course be read with the establishment of Mitras business interest in Aborlan and his
transfer of registration as a voter.
With the conclusion that Mitra did not commit any material misrepresentation in his COC, we see no reason
in this case to appeal to the primacy of the electorates will.We cannot deny, however, that the people of
Palawan have spoken in an election where residency qualification had been squarely raised and their voice
has erased any doubt about their verdict on Mitras qualifications.
Under these terms, we cannot be any clearer.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we resolve to DENY with FINALITY, for lack of merit, the
motions for reconsideration and motion for oral arguments now before us.Let entry of
judgment be made in due course.


In 1988, Ramon Labo, Jr. was elected as mayor of Baguio City. His rival, Luis Lardizabal filed a petition for
quo warranto against Labo as Lardizabal asserts that Labo is an Australian citizen hence disqualified; that
he was naturalized as an Australian after he married an Australian. Labo avers that his marriage with an
Australian did not make him an Australian; that at best he has dual citizenship, Australian and Filipino; that
even if he indeed became an Australian when he married an Australian citizen, such citizenship was lost
when his marriage with the Australian was later declared void for being bigamous. Labo further asserts
that even if hes considered as an Australian, his lack of citizenship is just a mere technicality which should
not frustrate the will of the electorate of Baguio who voted for him by a vast majority.
1. Whether or not Labo can retain his public office.
2. Whether or not Lardizabal, who obtained the second highest vote in the mayoralty race, can replace
Labo in the event Labo is disqualified.
HELD: 1. No. Labo did not question the authenticity of evidence presented against him. He was naturalized
as an Australian in 1976. It was not his marriage to an Australian that made him an Australian. It was his
act of subsequently swearing by taking an oath of allegiance to the government of Australia. He did not
dispute that he needed an Australian passport to return to the Philippines in 1980; and that he was listed
as an immigrant here. It cannot be said also that he is a dual citizen. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical
to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law. He lost his Filipino citizenship when he swore
allegiance to Australia. He cannot also claim that when he lost his Australian citizenship, he became solely
a Filipino. To restore his Filipino citizenship, he must be naturalized or repatriated or be declared as a
Filipino through an act of Congress none of this happened.
Labo, being a foreigner, cannot serve public office. His claim that his lack of citizenship should not
overcome the will of the electorate is not tenable. The people of Baguio could not have, even unanimously,
changed the requirements of the Local Government Code and the Constitution simply by electing a
foreigner (curiously, would Baguio have voted for Labo had they known he is Australian). The electorate
had no power to permit a foreigner owing his total allegiance to the Queen of Australia, or at least a
stateless individual owing no allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, to preside over them as mayor
of their city. Only citizens of the Philippines have that privilege over their countrymen.
2. Lardizabal on the other hand cannot assert, through the quo warranto proceeding, that he should be
declared the mayor by reason of Labos disqualification because Lardizabal obtained the second highest
number of vote. It would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed
right to suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a
winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the majority of which have positively declared
through their ballots that they do not choose him. Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are
filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office, and it is a
fundamental idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared elected and no
measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in
the election.

Nolasco v COMELEC
A disqualification case was filed against Meycauayan, Bulacan Mayor-elect Florentino Blanco for alleged
performing acts which are grounds for disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code giving money to
influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing election functions: for committing acts
of terrorism to enhance his candidacy, and for spending an amount for his campaign in excess of what is
allowed by the law.
The COMELEC First Division required both parties to submit their position papers. The case was decided
against Blanco.
A reconsideration was moved by Blanco in the COMELEC En Banc. Nolasco, the vice-mayor-elect took part
as intervenor, urging that should Blanco be finally disqualified, the mayoralty position be turned over to
him. The parties were allowed to file their memoranda. En Banc denied Blanco and Nolascos motions thus
this petition for certiorari.
1. WON Blanco was denied due process and equal protection of laws
2. WON the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in proclaiming Alarilla as the duly elected
1. Blanco was not denied due process and equal protection of the laws. He was given all the opportunity to
prove that the evidence on his disqualification was not strong. Blancos contention that the minimum
quantum of evidence was not met is untenable. What RA 6646 and the COMELEC Rules of Procedure
require is a mere evidence of guilt that should be strong to justify the COMELEC in suspending a winning
candidates proclamation.
2. Nolasco, not Alarilla, is adjudged as the Mayor of Meycauayan. It is already a settled principle in the
case of Reyes v COMELEC that the candidate with the second highest number of votes cannot be
proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate be disqualified. There cannot be an assumption that the
second placer would have received the other votes otherwise it is a judgment substituting the mind of a
voter. It cannot be assumed that the second placer would have won the elections because in the situation
where the disqualified candidate is excluded, the condition would have substantially changed.

Lucena City councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo was elected to the said office for three consecutive terms: 19982001, 2001-2004, and 2004-2007. In September 2005, during his third term of office, the Sandiganbayan
issued an order of 90-day preventive suspension against him in relation to a criminal case. The said
suspension order was subsequently lifted by the Court, and Asilo resumed the performance of the
functions of his office.
Asilo then filed his certificate of candidacy for the same position in 2007. His disqualification was sought by
herein petitioners on the ground that he had been elected and had served for three consecutive terms, in
violation of the three-term Constitutional limit.
WON the suspensive condition interrupts the three-term limitation rule of COMELEC?
NO. The preventive suspension of public officials does not interrupt their term for purposes of the threeterm limit rule under the Constitution and the Local Government Code (RA 7160).
The candidacy of Lucena City Councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo for a fourth term in the 2007 elections was in
contravention of the three-term limit rule of Art. X, sec. 8 of the Constitution since his 2004-2007 term was
not interrupted by the preventive suspension imposed on him, the SC granted the petition of Simon B.
Aldovino, Danilo B. Faller, and Ferdinand N. Talabong seeking Asilos disqualification.
Preventive suspension, by its nature, does not involve an effective interruption of service within a term
and should therefore not be a reason to avoid the three-term limitation, held the Court. It noted that
preventive suspension can pose as a threat more potent than the voluntary renunciation that the
Constitution itself disallows to evade the three-term limit as it is easier to undertake and merely requires
an easily fabricated administrative charge that can be dismissed soon after a preventive suspension has
been imposed.