DILG installs Yap as new governor of Southern Leyte
MAASIN CITY – Southern Leyte has a new governor.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) installed on Friday Vice Gov. Christopher “Coco” Yap as the new governor of the province after beleaguered Gov. Damian Mercado personally received the Ombudsman order dismissing him from his post.
In a mobile phone interview, Mercado told the Inquirer that he personally went to the DILG regional office to receive the dismissal order “to end all speculations surrounding the Ombudsman order.”
Mercado said the DILG immediately installed Yap, who accompanied him to the agency’s regional office along with some board members, upon his receipt of the Ombudsman order.
Accordingly, top board member Jessica Escano Pano was installed as vice governor in place of Yap.
“Although we appealed the Ombudsman’s decision with the Appellate Court, we will abide by its decision whether it’s not in our favor,” Mercado said.
Asked if there is someone to blame for the case that moved very slowly for a decade, Mercado said: “I don’t blame anyone.”
Mercado said he will stay in Maasin, as he has to undergo some minor medical procedure for his illness.
The case of Mercado at the Ombudsman stemmed from his alleged anomalous purchase of three second-hand vehicles, which included his previously owned vehicle, amounting to P2.3 million.
In a resolution released on August 10, the Ombudsman held Mercado liable for grave misconduct in the alleged irregular procurement in 2007, when he was still mayor of the city. /kga
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