Urbiztondo mayor resents 60-day preventive suspension

September 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

by Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ROSALES- Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong expressed resentment over the 60-day preventive suspension given to him by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for releasing two checks as payments to contractors from an unapproved loan from the Philippine National Bank (PNB).
Mayor Balolong in a telephone interview last August 23 said that he was not given his proper time during the hearing of the Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability adding that the decision of the Committee was hastily done.
“I firmly believe that my actions were done in good faith. After the Sangguniang Panlalawigan failed to act on our Ordinance within the prescribed 30-day period under the Local Government Code of 1991, we deemed it approved which was the basis of my actions,” Mayor Balolong said.

He further said that he already received the suspension order from Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and (that) his legal counsel is preparing for his appeal.
Last August 13, 2012 during its out of town session in San Roque, San Manuel, , the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Committee Report 29-2012 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability chaired by Board Member Alfonso C. Bince, Jr. that contained the 60-day preventive suspension of Mayor Balolong.
Before the approval of the Report, Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani queried the chair whether Mayor Balolong was given due process as he learned that he (Balolong) was not present during the hearing.
Bince said that proper notice was sent to Mayor Balolong and was received by his Executive Assistant Gloria Balolong-Canilang.
“During the preliminary hearing, Mayor Balolong and even his lawyer did not appear.An opportunity was given to him but he (ignored it),” Bince said.
Bince, however, reiterated that the preventive suspension is not a penalty. It is an act to prevent respondent to give undue influence to staff and subordinates during the course of investigation and in getting evidences.
The Committee Report was forwarded to the Office of the Governor and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for enforcement.
It will be recalled that Mayor Balolong through the Sangguniang Bayan of Urbiztondo sought a P52 million loan from the Philippine National Bank to fund various projects of the town. However, the contract has to be reviewed and approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Prior to the final review of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Mayor Balolong has issued payments already to suppliers and contractors.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan found Balolong’s actions anomalous.

Entry filed under: News.

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