A copy of the order signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año for Festin’s suspension for 90 days was posted at the local chief executive’s office at 9:57 a.m.
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DILG suspends mayor who aided Recto Bank fishermen
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - June 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday implemented the suspension order issued by the Sandiganbayan on San Jose, Occidental Mindoro Mayor Romulo Festin, who has been helping the 22  fishermen whose boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9.

A  copy of the order signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año for Festin’s suspension for 90 days was posted at the local chief executive’s office at 9:57 a.m.

“The acting mayor is now Vice Mayor Roderick Agas,” DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a text message to The STAR.

The anti-graft court on May 22 ordered the preventive suspension of Festin following the graft cases filed against him in connection with the computerization of the town’s real property tax assessment, purchase of multi-cabs allegedly without public bidding and providing salaries to certain individuals without daily time records.

Malaya clarified that the suspension order has nothing to do with Festin’s comments against China.

Festin has been vocal in his support of the fishermen who were rescued by Vietnamese sailors after F/B GemVir 1 (Gemver) was hit by a Chinese vessel on June 9, urging the government to take the necessary steps to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

He also criticized the Chinese who were involved in the boat’s sinking, describing it as a form of bullying.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ROMULO FESTIN
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