Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno carried out yesterday the Ombudsman’s order preventively suspending Cavite Gov. Erineo "Ayong" Maliksi for six months over an allegedly anomalous rice purchase in 2004, and installed Vice Gov. Juanito Victor "Jonvic" Remulla as acting governor.
Puno finally did so after Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor Fernandez informed his department that there was no longer any legal obstacle to suspend Maliksi.
The Ombudsman first issued a preventive suspension order against Maliksi on Aug. 15, 2005, but the governor elevated the case to the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court subsequently granted him a preliminary injunction, but Fernandez said this was lifted on April 3, 2006.
The Ombudsman subsequently issued an order on April 7, 2006 directing the interior department to implement the suspension order, but Maliksi filed a petition for certiorari to review his case with the Supreme Court.
"We now have to implement the preventive suspension order because our continuing failure to do so might open us to charges of dereliction of duty," Puno said.
Maliksi’s suspension stemmed from the administrative case which Remulla had filed against him for grave abuse of authority, misconduct and violation of Republic Act 6713 for the purchase, without a public bidding, of 7,500 sack of rice worth P7.5 million in 2004. — Cecille Suerte Felipe