Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero said she remains holding her position as chief of executive of the town as she has not received a copy of the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the three-month suspension from office of Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero for simple misconduct and the filing of criminal complaints before the Sandigangbayan for appointing four losing candidates in the 2013 elections at PhP25,000.00 per month.
Montero, upon orders of Morales will be charged with one count of violation of section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and four counts of Unlawful Appointment under article 244 of the Revised Penal Code.
Montero appointed her defeated Vice Mayoralty candidate Noel Hormachuelos as Municipal Administrator/Consultant, Danilo Reyes as public information consultant, Apolinar Fudalan, public employment service office coordinator/information technology (IT) consultant and Fernando Penales as infrastructure/engineering consultant.
The Ombudsman found that the four consultants were hired on a job order basis without a contract of service or any appointment papers approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.
Hormachuelos, Reyes, and Fudalan ran under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) party led by Montero while Penales ran as United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) councilor under defeated mayoralty candidate Vangie Lazaro and now Montero’s close ally, Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes.
Under RA 7160 known as the Local Government Code of 1991, the four appointees of Montero are prohibited and disqualified to be appointed to any public office of government within one year after an election.
Section 94(b) states that “except for losing candidates in barangay elections, no candidate who lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries.”
“Respondent in appointing them to vital positions in the municipality, certainly granted them unwarranted benefits and caused due injury to the government equivalent to the amount of the compensation they received during the time of their temporary disqualification,” stated Ombudsman Morales. (Chito M. Visarra)