Ombudsman, DILG stand by decision to suspend Nueva Ecija Gov. Umali

Ombudsman, DILG stand by decision to suspend Nueva Ecija Gov. Umali

Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio “Oyie” Umali

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Ombudsman stand by the six-month preventive suspension the latter issued against Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali last May 22 in connection with the alleged illegal issuance of 205 permits for sand and gravel extraction in the province.

In a statement on Sunday, the Ombudsman announced their stand despite the existence of a restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) through its 11th Division on the same day.

READ: TRO stops Ombudsman, DILG from barring Ecija gov from assuming post

Citing a report from DILG Assistant Regional Director Jay Timbreza, the Ombudsman said the preventive suspension order was received by the agency’s central office on May 14 and attempted to serve it thrice — once on May 21 and twice on 22.

“As the Governor was supposedly on leave, the Order for Preventive Suspension was served to the Capitol’s officials-in-charge who refused the same,” the statement said.

“Consequently, the Order was posted on the front door of the Office of the Provincial Governor in Cabanatuan City on the morning of 22 May 2024 as well as the entrance door of the New Provincial Capitol in Palayan City right before 1 p.m. on the same day,” it added.

Shortly after, however, the Ombudsman said CA “granted Umali’s application for temporary restraining order on the basis of the indispensability of governor’s office in connection with the delivery of services to his constituents.”