Warns of violence if dismissed
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — Supporters of Mayor Lucilo Bayron and employees of the city government barricaded the City Hall on Wednesday and warned officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) against serving an order to dismiss Bayron issued by the Ombudsman.
At least 1,000 supporters of Bayron started massing up at the entrance of the City Hall building on Monday, threatening to stop the DILG from serving the order.
Acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy earlier this week ordered the DILG in Mimaropa region to serve the Ombudsman order to dismiss Bayron for a case of “serious dishonesty.”
Bayron, speaking to his supporters, said he would not honor the order, claiming he had already been acquitted in the case by the Court of Appeals (CA).
“I would not abide by the order,” he said.
There would be blood…
The mayor was demanding that the DILG heed a CA ruling, issued in August, reversing the Ombudsman order to dismiss him.
The head of the city’s security force on Tuesday issued a warning to the DILG that violence may ensue if the department tried to serve the Ombudsman order.
David Martinez, City Public Order and Safety Office head, said supporters of the mayor had surrounded City Hall.
He warned DILG officials that their safety could not be guaranteed if they tried to serve the dismissal order against Bayron.
“If they insist, we cannot ensure their security,” Martinez said. “If they enter without us, there would be violence for sure,” he said.
City officials had been screening people entering the City Hall, searching visitors for documents for fear someone would be able to sneak in the dismissal order from the DILG.
“We don’t know what’s on their minds now,” Martinez said. “This is part of SOP (standard operating procedures),” he said.
He said supporters of Bayron are keeping watch because they don’t want the order to be sneaked in. “It’s understandable. What if the order was being brought surreptitiously and suddenly it was posted?” said Richard Ligad, city information officer.
City officials sent several dump trucks to block the road leading to City Hall and have instructed supporters to form a human barricade.
Bayron claimed the CA already exonerated him even as the Ombudsman issued another order to dismiss him.
Bayron’s conviction stemmed from a case filed against him in 2013 by Aldrin Madreo in connection with his appointment to a key position of his son Karl.
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