Cebu village execs start serving 6-month preventive suspension
CEBU CITY – Ermita barangay captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta and all seven barangay councilmen have started serving their six-month preventive suspension on Tuesday morning.
Officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), accompanied by some policemen, served the order of the Ombudsman that placed the barangay officials under preventive suspension past 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
The DILG officials and policemen arrived at the barangay hall around 9:40 a.m. and waited for Rupinta to formally receive and sign the document.
Rupinta arrived in his office around 10:05 a.m. after supervising the clearing operations of some stalls on Progreso Street near Carbon Market.
Emma Joyevelyn Calvo, acting DILG director for Central Visayas, said signing of documents will have to be on-hold pending the appointment of the caretaker of the village.
The caretaker, she added, would be appointed by the Office of the President.
While he lamented that they were not afforded due process, Rupinta said he would heed the order and would use it as an opportunity to take a break and go on vacation.
“Now I can go on vacation. I haven’t gone on vacation. But before I leave, I will wait for the appointed caretaker so I could talk to her or him,” he said.
He said he was that the suspension of the barangay officials might affect the delivery of basic services in the barangay especially in terms of garbage collection and in their ongoing campaign to cleanse the village, particularly Sitio Bato, of illegal drugs.
The preventive suspension stemmed from the complaint of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA- 7) against the village officials for failure to cooperate in a drug raid in the area last November 2016 – a charge strongly denied by Rupinta. JE
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