Suspended Davao del Norte gov refuses to step down

Suspended Davao del Norte gov refuses to step down

/ 05:06 AM April 13, 2024

Suspended Davao Norte gov refuses to step down

DEFIANCE Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib faces his supporters at the provincial capitol on Thursday and vows to
stay in office despite the 60-day suspension ordered by Malacañang. —PHOTO COURTESY OF ONE DAVNOR NETWORK

TAGUM CITY — Tension has gripped the provincial capitol of Davao del Norte here as suspended Gov. Edwin Jubahib refused to vacate his office, saying the order from Malacañang was “without basis.”

Jubahib stayed for the night in his office on Thursday despite being served with a 60-day suspension from the Office of the President by officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier that day.


READ: Davao del Norte gov vows to defy suspension


Many of his supporters gathered for a prayer rally at the capitol on Thursday night while representatives from different sectors pledged their support for the governor. Jubahib’s supporters kept vigil and stayed in tents within the capitol grounds.

Jubahib earlier asked them to gather at the provincial capitol and help block the service of the suspension order. But DILG regional director Abdullah Matalam had said that Vice Gov. De Carlo Uy would be the acting governor for the next 60 days due to Jubahib’s suspension.

Amid the standoff, Uy on Friday stayed in his office at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan building as he called on all parties to “remain calm and uphold the rule of law.”

“The preventive suspension is part of the due process of established legal procedures. The Vice Governor’s Office remains committed to helping with the issues in a calm and lawful manner,” Uy said in a statement.

“We will continue to serve the people of Davao del Norte to the best of our ability despite the circumstances,” he added.

Administrative complaint

Jubahib’s suspension stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by Board Member Orly Amit on Nov. 24, 2022, for grave abuse of authority and oppression.


Jubahib said he ordered the recall of Amit’s capitol-issued service vehicle and assigned it to the provincial engineering office. But he said the vehicle was returned to Amit the following month.

Jubahib said the vehicle’s recall was allowed because the provincial engineering office needed it then, hence he did nothing illegal.

“The vehicle was under the control of the provincial governor’s office and was only lent to Board Member Amit out of good and sincere intentions,” Jubahib said.

Amit belied Jubahib’s claim that the suspension order from the Office of the President was without basis and ignored due process.

“He (Jubahib) even wrote two times to the Office of the President asking for extension to file [his] answer,” Amit said. “Therefore, it’s clear due process was followed and it’s not true that the governor was uninformed about this case.”

The suspension order indicated that Jubahib filed a verified answer to Amit’s complaint on Oct. 9, 2023.

The order suspending Jubahib was issued on April 8, and signed for President Marcos by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin. It said there was “strong evidence of guilt against [Governor] Jubahib” and that given the gravity of the offense charged, “there is a great probability that his continuance in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence.”

Under the law, the President is the disciplining authority for elective provincial government officials.

Respecting will of the people

In a press conference on Thursday night, former President Rodrigo Duterte questioned the suspension order issued against his political ally.

“You must remember that the governor of north Davao (Davao del Norte) has been elected by the people. That’s not an employee that you appoint or you fire; you have to respect the will of the people,” Duterte said.

He also advised Jubahib to directly question the suspension order before the Supreme Court.

Jubahib, a protégé of former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, had aligned with Duterte after the former House leader had mended fences with the former president.

Alvarez sees politics as the reason for Jubahib’s suspension.

He said that before the suspension order was issued, a Malacañang official allegedly sent two emissaries to Jubahib asking him to stop the “Hakbang ng Maisug” rally at the Davao del Norte sports complex on April 14 where Duterte is the main guest.

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Duterte had lambasted the Marcos administration in previous Maisug rallies. —WITH A REPORT FROM GERMELINA LACORTE

TAGS: Davao del Norte, Regions

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