SC orders vice gov to explain appointment in Maguindanao del Norte
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) issued a show cause order against Maguindanao del Norte Vice Governor Bai Fatima Ainee L. Sinsuat on Monday to explain within 10 days why she should not be cited in contempt.
According to the SC, Sinsuat did not inform them of her appointment, oath taking, and assumption as vice governor of Maguindanao del Norte.
In 2022, Sinsuat was elected vice governor of Maguindanao, and in the same year assumed office as governor of the newly created province of Maguindanao del Norte.
Later, Sinsuat requested the high court to order the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the Department of Finance to recommend a provincial treasurer, with which the SC decided in her favor.
In April 2023, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appointed Abdulraof Macacua as OIC governor of Maguindanao del Norte, while Sinsuat was appointed as vice governor.
However, according to the Office of the Secretary General, Sinsuat abandoned her claim as acting governor of Maguindanao del Norte and relinquished the authority to appoint a provincial officer when she became vice governor in April 2023.
Later, the SC ruled that she was the rightful governor of Maguindanao “but only in acting capacities until elections for the permanent officials to the said positions shall have been held.”
The SC said that Sinsuat should have informed the court of the events that significantly altered the case outcome.
“The Court, however, deemed it proper to order Sinsuat to show cause why she should not be cited in contempt. It lamented that while the Court takes judicial notice of the official acts of the President in appointing Sinsuat, the parties should have at least informed the Court of the supervening events which significantly altered the possible outcome of the case,” it said.
The SC also said that Sinsuat’s silence appeared to conceal which tended to disrespect its authority.
“The Court remarked that Sinsuat’s silence and omissions appear to constitute intentional concealment which tends to disrespect the Court’s authority as final dispenser of justice. It said that not only did Sinsuat failed to apprise the Court that she already accepted her appointment as Vice Governor of Maguindanao del Norte, she also conveniently omitted to mention this important fact in her Motion for Indirect Contempt,” it added.