Asentista set to assume as Dumanjug mayor
(The Freeman) - January 4, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government has instructed Vice Mayor Rene Asentista to assume as the new mayor of Dumanjug town in southern Cebu following the serving of dismissal order against suspended Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica.

Asentista has been acting mayor since Gica was ordered suspended July last year over a separate case accusing him of leading a police raid without a search warrant.

“In this regard and by operation of law, specifically section 44(a) of the Local Government Code of 1991, you are advised to immediately assume as the Office of the Mayor and perform all of its functions, duties, and responsibilities,” read DILG’s notice to assume to Asentista.

DILG Provincial Director Jerome Gonzales said he already served the dismissal order to Gica last December 29.

The dismissal order was for Gica’s alleged falsification of his liquidation report.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas, Gica was guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct for tampering a receipt worth P10,000.

The anti-graft office decided to dismiss Gica from service, forfeit all his benefits, and cancel all civil service eligibilities. He has also been perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Gonzales clarified that although Asentista has been serving as mayor for several months now, he still needs to take oath as new town mayor.

Asentista’s status will remain vice mayor unless he takes oath, Gonzales added.

The FREEMAN tried to get comments from Gica and Asentista but received no reply from their end as of this writing.

Gonzales, however, said that although he already served the notices, Gica can still seek “legal remedies” through the Court of Appeals and even all the way up to the Supreme Court.

With the recent changes, first-ranked councilor Cesar Baricuatro will assume the position as vice mayor of Dumanjug, leaving one seat in the municipal council vacant.

Gonzales said Baricuatro’s party has the right to name a person who can fill the vacancy. (FREEMAN)

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