The complaint filed against Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and 15 of her municipal staff for breaching quarantine protocols mandated under a provincial ordinance will be forwarded to the Ombudsman – Visayas.
To recall, Montero and 15 municipal employees of Panglao were charged in a complaint filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) for violation of Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-022. Said complaint was filed by Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Nilo Ahat and Dr. Anthony Damalerio, representing the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (B-IATF), on November 5.
However, chief Provincial Prosecutor Macario Delusa explained in an interview with dyRD Balita that the complaint against Montero and her staff falls within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman as the persons charged, including the mayor, are public officers and employees and the incidents surrounding the offense charged may be in relation to the performance of their official duties.
Prosecutor Delusa added that cases involving public officials and employees is generally handled by the Ombudsman as the offense charged against subject official or employee may have a corresponding administrative liability.
The provincial chief prosecutor said, aside from the criminal case, administrative proceedings may also be instituted by the Ombudsman motu proprio, or even when it is not included in the initiatory complaint.
Mayor Montero and 15 of her staff travelled to Cebu City on the afternoon of September 14 and returned to Panglao the following day, September 15, 2020, without securing beforehand a travel authority from the Office of the Governor and the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (B-IATF).
Montero also apparently did not undergo the prescribed 14-day quarantine imposed on persons who travel outside the province, as required under Provincial Ordinance 2020-022. (KB, RT)