A casual employee of the local government unit (LGU) of Panglao was spotted stripping off the dismissal order against Mayor Leonila Montero, almost immediately after it was posted by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the door of the mayor’s office, an official said.
Municipal Councilor Rogelin Degoma identified the town hall employee as Marie Venus Bantigue, a former scholar under Montero.
According to Degoma, Bantigue was seen through a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera removing the paper which contained the dismissal order minutes after its posting on Thursday afternoon.
“Paghuman tapot taga DILG, unya after mga 10 mins, iya gilangkat,” said Degoma.
It was not immediately made known why the document was taken down right away, but Degoma later confirmed that Bantigue relayed the document to Montero.
“Jenny Arceno told me that the casual employee, Mariel Venus Bantigue removed the notice so that somebody can bring it to the residence of Montero family and hand the documents to the respondent,” said Degoma.
For her part, DILG provincial director Loisella Lucena said that Bantigue did not commit any violation.
The DILG has no control over what is done to the paper after it has been served, said Luceno.
“Ang importante na-serve ug napahibaw na ang tanan,” she added.
The dismissal order was posted on the door of Montero’s office as notice to the public and to signify that the order was served to the office.
Luceno was personally supposed to serve the dismissal order at the house of Montero in Barangay Tawala at 2 p.m. on Thursday but Montero however was reportedly not at her residence.
According Luceno, Pedro Fuertes is now the mayor of Panglao while Briccio Velasco is vice mayor after the implementation of Montero’s dismissal.
Both officials were already holding the said positions at acting capacity when Montero was serving her suspension.
Montero was ordered dismissed after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found her guilty of grave misconduct last month.
Montero was suspended for simple misconduct for appointing her partymates who lost in the 2013 elections to positions in the Panglao LGU.
However, after taking a “second hard look” at the evidence presented, the decision was upgraded to grave misconduct leading to Montero’s dismissal. (A. Doydora)