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Pressure on for PB to solve at least 20 cases

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/JMO (The Freeman) - November 10, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - More than 20 administrative cases involving elected officials in the province are still pending before the Cebu Provincial Board with barely three months left before the moratorium on the conduct of administrative investigation.

Board Member Peter John Calderon, a lawyer and member of the PB committee on complaints and investigation, said cases that will not be resolved when the ban takes effect would result in dismissal.

“This is what we did before (previous administration),” he told The FREEMAN.

Section 62 of the Local Government Code of 1991 prohibits the conduct of investigation of administrative complaints within 90 days immediately prior to any local election which, in this case, is on May 9, 2016.

No preventive suspension should also be imposed within the period. If a preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the 90-day period, it should be deemed automatically lifted upon the start of aforesaid period, the law states.

Calderon said the cases would unlikely be pursued after the elections because of the Aguinaldo or condonation doctrine, which absolves a public official from administrative liability for a misconduct committed during his term immediately preceding his re-election to office.

Lawyer Anecita Pasaylo, the investigating committee consultant, admitted that the Provincial Board is already overloaded with 30 complaints, with only six already given resolution, including the grave abuse of authority case filed by Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica against his Mayor Nelson Gamaliel Garcia.

Garcia meted a six-month suspension as penalty.

Of the 24 cases pending, five were filed by Garcia against Gica who, in return, lodged three cases against the former.

Garcia earlier withdrew his cases because the PB allegedly failed to act upon them and was biased, considering that it is composed of Gica’s allies in the Liberal Party.

Pasaylo, however, said moves to dismiss are not prohibited under the amended revised rules and procedures that govern investigation of administrative cases against elective municipal or component city officials of Cebu.

She attributed the delay to several factors, like the scheduling and unavailability of the counsels.

She said the investigating committee is exercising “maximum tolerance” and leniency to any of the parties involved.

“They (parties) know the procedures,” she added. – (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BOARD MEMBER PETER JOHN CALDERON CASES CEBU PROVINCIAL BOARD DUMANJUG VICE MAYOR EFREN GUNTRANO GICA GARCIA GICA LAWYER ANECITA PASAYLO LIBERAL PARTY LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE MAYOR NELSON GAMALIEL GARCIA
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