Sultan Kudarat Governor Mangudadatu suspends Mayor Mangudadatu, wife of Representative Mangudadatu
TACURONG CITY—A Sultan Kudarat town mayor accused of failing to pay his town’s electric bills and remit Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Pag-Ibig payments has been ordered suspended for 45 days by the province’s governor.
Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu, heeding a recommendation by the provincial board, issued an administrative order suspending Mayor Azel V. Mangudadatu of President Quirino town.
Mayor Mangudadatu is facing administrative charges at the provincial board for failing to pay the town’s electricity bills and non-remittance of contributions to GSIS and Pag-Ibig Fund.
Complaints that led to the charges were filed by Vice Mayor Katrina Sandigan and Councilor Florante Tongco.
But lawyer Esraelito Torion, Mayor Mangudadatu’s legal counsel, said the issues raised against his client has already been resolved prior to the filing of the complaint at the provincial board.
Torion filed a motion for reconsideration of the suspension order on Wednesday (Aug. 26) and said “Mayor Mangudadatu stays as mayor, she is on top of the situation in her town.”
Governor Mangudadatu said his order to suspend Mayor Mangudadatu was not politically motivated as Mayor Mangudadatu’s husband, Rep. Freddie Mangudadatu, is a political rival.
In his order, the governor said preventive suspension “is not a penalty.”
“Under the eyes of the law, she is still presumed innocent,” the governor said.
Suspension, he added, is not “definitive pronouncement of the mayor’s guilt.” It is “an initial step toward determining if the cases filed against her are meritorious,” Governor Mangudadatu said.
Copies of his order were furnished the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Civil Service Commission, Philippine National Police and government finance institutions.
Lawyer Torion said Mayor Mangudadatu was surprised by the governor’s directive.
The mayor, said Torion, had also written a letter explaining why she is staying in office. She also wrote an open letter to her constituents in President Quirino explaining her predicament.
Torion said the provincial board did not furnish the mayor a copy of the resolution recommending her suspension. He said the allegations against Mayor Mangudadatu were baseless.
“Maybe the governor was ill advised,” Torion added.
Edited by TSB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.