UNA protests delay in dismissal of Aquino, Roxas allies in LGUs
ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has decried the delay in implementation of dismissal orders against allies of President Aquino and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Lawyer Cornelio Aldon, UNA coordinator in Western Visayas, said the delay was in contrast with the implementation of suspension and dismissal orders against candidates and officials identified with the opposition UNA.
Aldon pointed out that the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) already implemented a 60-day suspension order issued by the Office of the President against Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for ordering the destruction of a center-island in Barangay Labangon in Cebu City.
Rama, who is running for re-election, is an ally of UNA presidential candidate and Vice President Jejomar Binay and UNA chair in Cebu City.
Aldon also cited the implementation of the dismissal order against the vice president’s son, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
The Ombudsman ordered Binay’s dismissal over alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati parking building.
Aldon said that in contrast, the DILG failed to implement the Ombudsman dismissal order against Mayor Joel Lomugdang of Culasi town in Antique.
The anti-graft body found Lomugdang, a Liberal Party member, guilty of grave misconduct for the procurement of supplies for the municipal public market office from a supplier that has been indebted to the mayor.
A check amounting to P9,862 paid by the municipal government to NK Enterprises was endorsed and deposited to the bank account of YL Trading, which is owned by the mayor and his wife Cecilia Yap-Lomugdang.
The couple admitted that several other checks issued by the municipality to NK Enterprises were eventually deposited in the account, according to the resolution.
The mayor said these were in payment for a P10-million loan of Nestor Kho Yute, owner of NK Enterprises, contracted on Jan. 18, 2010.
He denied any irregularities, insisting that the procurement was done in good faith and followed procedures.
But the Ombudsman said the “creditor-debtor relationship necessary makes respondent Lomugdang financially interested in the (debtor’s) business and financial transactions….”
Lomugdang also “intervened” in the procurement process by signing purchase request, purchase order and issued the check, according to the resolution.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to indict the mayor for criminal charges in violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
The 10-page resolution was signed on Nov. 6 by Assistant Special Prosecutor II Anna Isabel Aurellano and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Nov. 13.
Nuyda said his office had not received a copy of the dismissal order on Lomugdang and directives from the central office to implement the mayor’s dismissal.
Aldon also cited the failure to implement the dismissal order against Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco, a close ally of President Aquino and Roxas in the LP.
Tanco remains in office nearly two months after the Ombudsman announced on Oct. 22 that it had ordered the governor’s dismissal.
The Ombudsman found Tanco and his son, Vladimir, the mayor’s security officer, guilty of grave misconduct for extorting P3 million from Leodegario Labao Jr., owner of Kirskat Venture, the contractor of the P32.9-million Mambusao District Hospital project.
DILG officials earlier said the agency had not implemented the dismissal order because the Ombudsman had not clarified if Tanco’s case was covered by the “Aguinaldo Doctrine.”
The legal doctrine extinguishes administrative cases filed against any public official during the official’s previous term immediately after the official’s re-election.
The Supreme Court last month abandoned the “condonation doctrine,” which was first introduced in the high court ruling in 1959.
Anthony Nuyda, DILG Western Visayas director, said that as of Sunday, his office was still waiting for updates on Tanco’s case from the agency’s central office.
The DILG served Vladimir’s dismissal late in October.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause against the Tancos for violation of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). SFM
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