DILG ordered to enforce dismissal of Mabilog
Malacañang and the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to enforce an Ombudsman order to remove from office Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who had been repeatedly linked by President Duterte to the illegal drug trade.
Mabilog, a member of the Liberal Party, went on an extended leave of absence to join his family who had gone abroad citing safety reasons.
The Ombudsman had ordered Mabilog’s dismissal for his unexplained wealth.
The Ombudsman, in a 13-page decision, found Mabilog guilty of serious dishonesty after the mayor failed to explain a nearly P9 million increase in his wealth in just a year.
The wealth increase, the Ombudsman said, was “manifestly out of proportion to his salaries and other lawful income.”
Failure by Mabilog to explain this, the Ombudsman added, was tantamount to “malicious intent to conceal the truth.”
Mabilog would forfeit his retirement benefits and be disqualified from public office.
On Thursday, Mabilog’s spokesperson, lawyer Mark Piad, said the mayor’s office had not received a copy of the Ombudsman order but said “we will explore the possibility” of running to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman decision.
Piad said he had not spoken to the mayor but reiterated Mabilog’s earlier denial about acquiring ill-gotten wealth. “The mayor said he is leaving it all to God,” said Piad.
Mabilog had said his and his family’s wealth came from his income as a businessman before he joined politics and earnings by his wife, Marivic, from an engineering company in Canada.
The Ombudsman decision was penned by graft investigator Rachel Cariaga-Farila on Aug. 29 and approved by Melchor Arthur Carandang, overall deputy Ombudsman, on Oct. 6. —WITH REPORTS FROM NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. AND VINCE F. NONATO
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