April 9, 2015

Iligan City Mayor Refuses to Recognize Suspension

ILIGAN CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government regional office in Northern Mindanao on Friday served the suspension order against Mayor Celso Regencia and installed Vice Mayor Ruderic Marzo as acting mayor.

Mayor Celso Regencia ---- ILIGAN CITY
Regencia, who was defiant, refused to receive the suspension order, which was served by DILG Northern Mindanao Director Rene Burdeos – who came here with members of the Special Weapon and Action Team from the Northern Mindanao police office.

He said the suspension order was politically-motivated.

Regencia ran and won in the 2013 elections under the National Unity Party against Liberal Party candidate Henry Dy. He and Aquino-ally and Iligan City Representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. are known political enemies.

With Regencia’s refusal to acknowledge the order, Burdeos posted it instead inside the city hall.

The six-month suspension order issued by Malacañang against Regencia stemmed from the mayor’s alleged abuse of authority when he stripped Marzo of his right to sign in job order employees.

In the four-page order dated March 2 and signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Regencia was being suspended under Section 60 of the Local Government Code.

“Wherefore, as recommended by the DILG, respondent Mayor Celso G. Regencia is found guilty for abuse of authority and meted a penalty of six months suspension,” Ochoa’s order reads, citing that under Republic Act 7160, elected officials may be disciplined, suspended or removed from office for not more than six months for abuse of authority.

In the order, Ochoa said Regencia’s explanation that he was only trying to curb the influx of ghost employees at the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) was unacceptable.

The mayor allegedly failed to provide enough evidence that ghost employees indeed existed at the SP.

On January 15, 2014, Regencia – through a memorandum order – told the city’s human resource development officer, the budget officer, the city treasurer and the city accountant that no job orders at the SP should be processed for payments without his approval.

He said he was acting on allegations of ghost and the unusual number of casual employees at the SP, who were hired under non-existing legislative enhancement projects.

But Marzo contested Regencia’s memorandum and said it paralyzed the operation in the SP and the office of the vice mayor “causing abrupt interruption and suspension of transportation services, public and committee hearings, sessions and liaison, janitorial and messengerial services.”

In July 2014, the DILG started investigating Marzo’s complaint.

In January this year, the DILG submitted its investigation report to Ochoa’s office, with a recommendation that Regencia should be suspended for abuse of authority.

Ochoa, in his order, added that Regencia has no authority to restrict and/or prohibit Marzo from exercising his authority to appoint employees – whether casual or regular – for the office of the vice mayor and the SP.

The executive secretary also said that while the mayor has the authority to appoint officials and employees, that power did not extend to the SP because it is under the authority and power of the vice mayor.

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1 comment:

  1. this is a bias post. CA now stops suspension of mayor CGR.


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