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Is a Special Prosecutor authorized by law to sign and issue preventive suspension?

No. With respect to the conduct of administrative investigation, the Special Prosecutor’s authority, insofar as preventive suspension is concerned, is akin to that of the PIAB-A, i.e., recommendatory in nature. It bears stressing that the power to place a public officer or employee under preventive suspension pending an investigation is lodged only with the Ombudsman or the Deputy Ombudsmen.

       Consequently, petitioner Special Prosecutory Villa Ignacio had no authority to issue the March 17, 2004 Order placing respondent Valera under preventive suspension for six months without pay in connection with the administrative case OMB-C-A-03-0379-J. (Office of the Ombudsman v. Atty. Valera, G.R. No. 164250, September 30, 2005, Callejo, J).