ILIGAN CITY—This is one for the record books.
In the province of Lanao del Norte, the elected mayor of a small town goes to law school while his father, who he replaced as executive in 2010, runs the town’s affairs.
For this, Munai Mayor Muammar Maquiling faces graft charges at the Ombudsman while his father, former Mayor Casan Maquiling, faces charges of usurpation of authority, among others.
In the graft case, it was alleged that the younger Maquiling allowed his father to act as chief executive of the municipality for almost three years since 2010.
While his father runs the town government’s affairs—from issuing simple memorandums to approving financial releases—he enrolled as a full-time law student in a university in Cagayan de Oro City.
None of the Maquilings gave comment when the Inquirer tried to get in touch with them. They pledged to comment in the next few days.
The complainants—Samira Tomarompong, chief of Barangay Madaya; former Councilor Omar Dimati and Cosain Disomindeg—charged the Maquilings with violating the antigraft law.
Tomarompong said she personally witnessed Casan Maquiling “signing over and above the name of Mayor Muammar S. Maquiling” in her bond application for the release of her barangay’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
Dimati, on the other hand, said the younger Maquiling, through his father, rented out the town’s heavy equipment to different private contractors for a fee.
“The rentals for the equipment were paid directly to Casan M. Maquiling who pocketed the money as if his own,” Dimati said.
At the same time, Dimati said Casan Maquiling had imposed P2,000 in monthly contributions from the town’s 26 villages for road maintenance “but the money was used for the fuel and oil needs of the heavy equipment.”
Disomindeg complained that he was denied his post as barangay captain in 2010 when his rival, who got only 22 votes compared to his 110 votes, was proclaimed winner at the instruction of the younger Maquiling.
Disomindeg said the instruction to proclaim the losing candidate, made by the younger Maquiling, was attested to by election officer Aeo Arumpac.
Tomarompong supported the charge of violating election laws against the younger Maquiling. She said the younger Maquiling withheld her village’s IRA and told her it would be released only if she and her husband signed “a pledge of loyalty to the incumbent mayor.”
Aside from the Ombudsman case, the younger Maquiling and his father were also administratively charged at the office of Lanao del Norte Gov. Mohamad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo by at least 60 village chiefs of Munai.
Critics said while Casan is the former mayor and might be knowledgeable about running the town’s affairs, he was not authorized to act on his son’s behalf. That would be usurpation of authority, they said.
The father and son are also facing other cases as “conspirators.”
The younger Maquiling was accused of causing “undue injury (to the government) and giving (his father) unwarranted benefits” while he taking up law at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. Ryan Rosauro and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao