DILG: Bayron no longer Puerto Princesa mayor
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Monday, it has stopped recognizing Lucilo Bayron as mayor of Puerto Princesa City since serving a dismissal order from the Office of the Ombudsman to his office last Friday (Feb. 10).
“He (Bayron) cannot function as mayor anymore. The vice mayor should take over although he (Bayron) has a right to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals (CA),” Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said in an interview aired over local radio station Brigada on Monday.
Sueno was referring to a ruling issued by the Ombudsman finding Bayron guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct. The Ombudsman permanently dismissed Bayron and perpetually barred him from government service.
Bayron, through his lawyer Winston Gonzales, has appealed the Ombudsman’s ruling.
The case stemmed from the appointment of Bayron’s son, Karl, to a contractual position in the city government during his first term as mayor in 2013. The father and son had signed the contractual employment papers stating that they were not related.
The DILG’s order for Bayron to vacate his post stands despite the latter’s pending appeal in the CA, according to Sueno.
“If they are given a TRO, then they can come back. We at the DILG, we only implement the decisions of the court. The Ombudsman had ordered us to serve the dismissal order, so we served it,” he said.
Gonzales said Bayron’s camp had clarified the matter earlier with the DILG and had cleared with the agency that the Ombudsman’s decision was “not final and executory.”
“This is a legal process and we can only heed the decision of the CA (Court of Appeals) or the Supreme Court,” Gonzales said.
He said Bayron was out of town on Monday. Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida, he said, was designated acting mayor in Bayron’s absence.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried to reach Marcaida on Monday but he was unavailable for an interview.
Supporters of Bayron and city government employees gathered at the City Hall grounds for three days last week anticipating the issuance of the Ombudsman’s ruling by the DILG.
But police officials said no untoward incident happened. On Monday, police said the peace and order situation in the city was “normal.” SFM
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