The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday morning formally served a memorandum to Mayor Leonila Montero and all other concerned parties on her reinstatement as Panglao’s chief executive.
DILG provincial officer Johnjoan Mende served the memorandum, which was issued by the agency’s head office through Central Visayas director Leocardio Trovela, to Montero in her office at 10:30 a.m.
The memorandum implemented a Court of Appeals (CA) order reinstating the Ombudsman’s original ruling which found Montero guilty of simple misconduct that warranted a three-month suspension.
“It is also stated therein that in the event that Mayor Montero has already served the imposed penalty of three months suspension as verified by the Human Resource, she is ordered reinstated to service,” the memo said.
The CA decision reversed the findings back to simple misconduct from grave misconduct which previously led to Montero’s dismissal.
The case stemmed from Montero’s hiring of four losing candidates in the 2013 elections as consultants within the one-year prohibition on the appointment of losing candidates of the immediate previous polls.
According to Mende, the issuance of the DILG memorandum should finally resolve the longstanding confusion over who is the town’s official mayor.
“Hopefully with this issuance, makahatag na ta og clarification and proper guidance para mahipno atong mga transaction didto sa LGU Panglao,” Mende said. “I believe mao pud ni gipaabot ni Hon. Pedro Fuertes nga memorandum from DILG para pagpa-klaro g’yud kung kinsa ang mayor sa Panglao.”
Governor Edgar Chatto was furnished a copy of the memorandum, he added.
The memorandum was also issued to the town’s Sangguniang Bayan, acting Vice Mayor Briccio Velasco and acting Mayor Pedro Fuertes who has been contesting Montero’s reinstatement.
However, Fuertes was not around to receive the memorandum which was posted in his office’s door instead.
Montero had earlier tried to reclaim the mayoralty seat which was then occupied by Fuertes but this was deemed “premature” by the DILG. (A. Doydora)