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Facts: A series of administrative complaints, ten in number, was filed by various city officials against Petitioner Mayor Ganzon.

During the pendency of the charges, Respondent Secretary of Department of Local Government issued a preventive suspension order for a period of sixty (60) days. Later on, when prima facie evidence was found to exist on the charges, the respondent ordered the petitioner's second preventive suspension for another sixty (60) days. Then, for the third time, respondent Secretary issued another order, preventively suspending Mayor Ganzon for another sixty days. Issue: Whether or not the Secretary of Local Government acted with grave abuse of discretion in the manner by which he suspended petitioner Held: Yes Ratio Decidendi: Sec. 63. Preventive Suspension. (1) Preventive suspension may be imposed by the Minister of Local Government if the respondent is a provincial or city official, by the provincial governor if the respondent is an elective municipal official, or by the city or municipal mayor if the respondent is an elective barangay official. (2) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondent has committed the act or acts complained of, when the evidence of culpability is strong, when the gravity of the offense so warrants, or when the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence. In all cases, preventive suspension shall not extend beyond sixty days after the start of said suspension. (3) At the expiration of sixty days, the suspended official shall be deemed reinstated in office without prejudice to the continuation of the proceedings against him until its termination. However ' if the delay in the proceedings of the case is due to his fault, neglect or request, the time of the delay shall not be counted in computing the time of suspension Under the Local Government Code, it cannot exceed sixty days, 62 which is to say that it need not be exactly sixty days long if a shorter period is otherwise sufficient, and which is also to say that it ought to be lifted if prosecutors have achieved their purpose in a shorter span . Suspension is not a penalty and is not unlike preventive imprisonment in which the accused is held to insure his presence at the trial. In both cases, the accused (the respondent) enjoys a presumption of innocence unless and until found guilty

Suspension finally is temporary and as the Local Government Code provides, it may be imposed for no more than sixty days. As we held, 63 a longer suspension is unjust and unreasonable, and we might add, nothing less than tyranny. As we observed earlier, imposing 600 days of suspension which is not a remote possibility Mayor Ganzon is to all intents and purposes, to make him spend the rest of his term in inactivity. It is also to make, to all intents and purposes, his suspension permanent It is also, in fact, to mete out punishment in spite of the fact that the Mayor's guilt has not been proven. Worse, any absolution will be for naught because needless to say, the length of his suspension would have, by the time he is reinstated, wiped out his tenure considerably We reiterate that we are not precluding the President, through the Secretary of Interior from exercising a legal power, yet we are of the opinion that the Secretary of Interior is exercising that power oppressively, and needless to say, with a grave abuse of discretion The Court is aware that only the third suspension is under questions, and that any talk of future suspensions is in fact premature. The fact remains, however, that Mayor Ganzon has been made to serve a total of 120 days of suspension and the possibility of sixty days more is arguably around the corner (which amounts to a violation of the Local Government Code which brings to light a pattern of suspensions intended to suspend the Mayor the rest of his natural tenure. The Court is simply foreclosing what appears to us as a concerted effort of the State to perpetuate an arbitrary act