Bataan town council to seek CA review of Ombudsman suspensions without pay
ABUCAY, BATAAN – The municipal council has resolved to ask the Court of Appeals to review the one-year suspension imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman on Abucay Vice Mayor Ma. Kristine Dela Fuente and four municipal councilors for not shutting down the municipal dump.
In its Aug. 5 decision, the Ombudsman for Luzon suspended Dela Fuente and councilors Rolando Ambrocio, Edwin Bernales, Jayson Marcelo, and Arturo Mungcal for a year without pay “for flagrantly violating the provisions of Republic Act No. 9003 otherwise known as the Solid Waste Management Act by openly defying the order to close [its] open dump site.”
The environmental complaint also included former councilors Jayjay Sacdalan, Marcelino Soriano, Guillermo Matacot, and Noberto Matacot. Each was directed to pay a fine equivalent to their six-month salaries.
Leo Ruben Manrique, secretary to the council, said the Abucay government had passed an environmental code in 2012, implemented the safe closure of its open dump, and completed its P15-million sanitary landfill in 2014.
The landfill has been activated for a year now, but the dump remained open after it was converted into a controlled facility.
The Environmental Management Bureau had also questioned the landfill project, according to Ernesto Vergara, the municipal administrator.
He said the Abucay landfill was part of the Bataan government’s integrated solid waste management project.
Abucay Mayor Liberato Santiago, Jr. said the suspensions were “too harsh for the local officials, particularly for those who were no longer in public service.”
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