NEWS: Tagum City Council suspends brgy captain for 90 days

For sacking 3 purok chairmen

april 21

The Tagum City Council in exercising its quasi-judicial functions under the local government code yesterday handed down its verdict of suspending the barangay captain of San Isidro for ninety days without pay for alleged abuse of authority and misconduct in office stemming from three administrative cases filed January last year by three purok chairmen whom he sacked and replaced with his appointed ones.
City Mayor Rey Uy signed the order of suspension to San Isidro barangay captain Rodito Pielago basing from the decision of the Tagum Sangguniang Panlungsod which was signed by all 12 councilors and Vice Mayor Allan Rellon.
SP secretary Rey Buhion accompanied by a Dept. of Local Government city official served the order to Pielago who was not around in his barangay hall in the afternoon when it was served. A staffer of him instead received the order.
Complainants of the separate cases were George Galledo, Romeo Lubon and Cecilio Mejorada, purok chairmen who were elected in Puroks 4, 3 and 5, respectively in December 2005 during the time of former San Isidro barangay captain Venerando Tano, but whom the Pielago replaced in October 2008, after he won the barangay elections.
In their complaints, the three alleged that Pielago after appointing new purok chairmen Antonio Narbay Jr (replacing Galledo), Eleuterio Romanillos (for Lubon) and Henry Gabuyo (for Mejorada) withdrew the P6,000 honorarium from the city funds intended for the purok chairmen as peacekeepers.
They alleged that Pielago signed as the one who recevied the amount and later gave it to his appointees.
The three complaining purok chairmen lodged their respective complaints against Pielago January 7 this year to the City Council, which acting a quasi-judicial body subsequently caused Pielago and the complainants to comply with the processes and summons in administratively hearing the cases.
Pielago in his defense contended, among others, that  it was his legitimate act covered by a barangay resolution, his appointees were the ones legally entitled for the cash gift for the peacekeepers, and that the position of purok chairmen was coterminus to their appointing authority, citing a DILG memorandum circular and a legal opinion.
The City Council, however said in its decision that the grounds of Pielago in citing a legal opinion was misplaced it being premised with different facts.
The City Council also cited that Pielago disregarded the City Ordinance No. 156, s-2006, which defined the quasi-judicial powers of the City Council and prescribed the rules and procedures in the administration of complaints against elective barangay officials, and his action did not accordingly comform with the Municipal Ordinance No. 49, s-1989 on the organization of the puroks.
“Replacing the complainants as Purok Leaders through the mere execution of appointment papers in violation of Municipal Ordinance NO. 49 and withdrawing the cash gift intended for the complainants as peacekeepers and handing the same to other persons is a clear manifestation of the respondent’s abuse of his authority and misconduct in office. Such acts are plain disregard of the mandates of the said Ordinance and violation of the complainants’ constitutional right to due process,” the decision stated.
For the three cases lodged by the complainants, the City Council as a quasi-judicial body found Pielago guilty of the charges complained of, and imposed a penalty of suspension from office for a period of 90 days without pay.
The move was unprecedented during the City Council’s current term, although the previous council immediately preceeding it had accordingly separately suspended before two barangay captains facing administrative complaints.
At press time, Pielago could not be reached for comments. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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