The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bohol has yet to receive a directive from its head office to implement the preventive suspension of Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero who is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan.
According DILG Bohol director Johnjoan Mende, their office will implement the directive once they receive it from the department’s higher offices.
“As always mag-agi man g’yud na sa atong central office, so from the central office suguon ang DILG regional office then in turn kita pud sa provincial office. It may take time siguro, gaapaabot lang pud ta sa maong order,” said Mende.
The Sandiganbayan ordered for a copy of the resolution promulgated on July 2, 2019 to be furnished to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año for the department to implement the suspension.
“The Secretary of DILG is directed to inform the Court of the action taken within 15 days from receipt hereof,” the court said in the resolution penned by Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Karl Miranda.
Mende said that they have not been informed on when the order will reach their office.
The Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division has ordered the mandatory 90-day preventive suspension of Montero pending the investigation on her case, pursuant to Section 13 of Republic Act 3019.
Montero is facing four counts of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another four counts of Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code, also known as Unlawful Appointment.
The cases stemmed from her appointment of four defeated candidates in the 2013 elections namely Noel Homarchuelos, municipal administrator; Danilo Reyes, public information consultant; Apolinar Fudalan, IT consultant; and Fernando Penales, engineering consultant less than a year after the polls. Each of them were paid a salary of P25,000 per month.
The act defied the one-year ban in the appointment of losing candidates under the Local Government Code.
Once Montero’s suspension takes effect, Vice Mayor Bryan Briccio Velasco will take over as acting mayor while the first councilor will be the acting vice mayor. However, Mende noted that the replacing councilor will need the appointment of the President.
“Ang first kagawad will assume as acting vice mayor. Although dili na automatic karon ang succession sa first kagawad kinahilanglan na siya og appointment of the Presdient through the Secretary of the DILG,” said Mende. (RT)