Unfortunately, under the present law, an elective local official may be removed form office â€œby order of the proper court.â€
By the way our courts operate, and with the availability of the remedy of appeal, summary removal of drug tainted mayors and governors may take a longer time than desired.
Several mayors have now surfaced confessing their involvement in illegal drug activities.
This confirms the fear that narco politics has slowly crept into the corridors of political power.
It has turned out thatÂ enterprising local government executives have become major distributors of prohibited drugs,Â like shabu.
They have been given protection by police generals, and even by other national government officials thus, their outlawed operations have Â proceeded unhampered.
The President will soon name there rogue local officials, who likely have been elected with the use of drug money.
We strongly support moves for summary dismissal proceedings against these political traitors.
There are ample grounds under the local government code to immediately begin these dismissal proceedings.
At the very least, these officials should immediately be placed under preventive suspension.
Under the local government code an elective local officialÂ may be disciplined, suspended or even removed on grounds like misconduct in office, abuse of authority.
One quick way of removing a local executive is by imposing preventive suspension.
However this is only temporary since elective officials can be preventively suspended only for a maximum of three months in a year, assuming the erring local executive has a string of administrative cases.
Preventive suspension may be Imposed by the President if the respondent is an elective provincial official.
The governor has the power to preventively suspendÂ an elective official of a component city or municipality.
The mayor has the power to preventively suspend an elective Â barangay official.
The problem is arises if the suspending authority himself is the one involved in illegal activities also.
Another route to remove local executives Is through office of the ombudsman, in administrative proceedings.
The office of the ombudsman has removed several mayors and other local government officials
The Supreme Court has ruled that the office of the ombudsman Â has concurrent jurisdiction with the other executive authorities in the matter of conducting administrative investigation.
Lately, we have noticed that the Ombudsman has been aggressive in weeding out undesirable local officials, notwithstanding these officials having a covenant with their constituents.
The bottom line is thatÂ the removal of local elective officials involved in the illegal drug trade must be made faster, so as not to allow these erring officials to continue to occupy their positions, to the detriment of the people. (By Atty. Jay I. Dejaresco)