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OMBUDSMAN ORDER

Catanduanes governor starts serving 6-month suspension

/ 07:20 AM January 13, 2019

The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon has finally served a six-month preventive suspension to Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua for abuse of authority and other offenses.

The order cited allegations that Cua connived with Eulogio Rodriguez, owner of ER Construction, to use a vacant lot owned by the provincial government free of charge without authority from the provincial board.

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The order suspended Cua for at least six months without pay.

Vice Gov. Sherly Abundo assumed office as governor after the Department of the Interior and Local Government served the suspension order on Jan. 11.

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Right all along

The group Catanduanes Crusaders Against Illegal Drugs and Corruption Inc. (CCAIDC) welcomed the Ombudsman suspension order.

“We’ve been right all along—the governor has been violating the law,” said the group in a statement.

“Now we are happy that he is paying for abuses,” said Marlon Suplig, CCAIDC head.

The group has filed several cases against Cua, including one involving alleged irregularities in power supply in Catanduanes.

In a statement given to media, Cua admitted that he was saddened by the preventive suspension issued against him by the Ombudsman just months before the 2019 elections.

His statement, written in the Catandungan dialect, said that he believed that as a leader, he had no right to deprive “a piece of parking area to constituents.”

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He said that if his being helpful was taken negatively, he “could not help but feel saddened and hurt not only as a leader but also as an ordinary Catandunganon.”

Cua added that he had faith that he would surpass the legal challenge he was facing now like he did when he was linked to a mega “shabu” (crystal meth) laboratory in Virac in November 2016. —WITH A REPORT FROM SHIENA M. BARRAMEDA

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TAGS: Abuse of Authority, DILG, ER Construction, Eulogio Rodriguez, Joseph Cua, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, Sherly Abundo
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