DILG ends confusion in Camarines Sur town; installs “rightful” acting mayor
Bato, Camarines Sur Vice Mayor Alvin Sacueza has finally been declared as the rightful acting mayor of the town.
In an opinion, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panadero said “it is only proper that Sacueza be recognized as the acting mayor of Bato”in the absence of suspended mayor Jeanette Bernaldez.
The DILG finally made this clarification after DILG-Camarines Sur Provincial Director Arnel Renato Madrideo sought to put an end to the confusion in Bato town that began when the Ombudsman suspended Bernaldez for six months and one day.
Automatically, she was replaced by Sacueza in acting capacity. But he was also suspended for six months by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan due to two administrative charges that several members of the municipal council filed against him.
In Sacueza’s absence, topnotcher municipal councilor Domingo Zorilla, Jr. was sworn into office as acting mayor on June 22.
Despite Zorilla’s assumption into office, however, locals remain puzzled as to who should legally occupy the seat of the local chief executive.
Bernaldez never yielded her office to Sacueza. She earlier said she was waiting for the decision of the Court of Appeals, which had since dismissed the former mayor’s petition for certiorari.
On the other hand, Sacueza has already filed an appeal to the Office of the President to have his suspension lifted.
As a result of Bernalez’ and Sacueza’s suspensions, Zorilla went to Madrideo asking him to issue a certification that he is the acting mayor of Bato.
Citing DILG rules, Panadero opined that Sacueza’s suspension on the two administrative cases can be temporarily put on hold pending the resolution of the appeal he filed before the Office of the President.
“While it may be true that Vice Mayor Sacueza, who is the Acting Mayor of Bato, Camarines Sur, was meted the penalty of 3-months suspension in each of the two (2) administrative cases filed against him before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, he has seasonably filed a Notice of Appeal/Appeal Memorandum before the Office of the President,” the DILG Central Office’s ruling stated.
“Sacueza’s seasonable filing of the Notice of Appeal/Appeal Memorandum to the Decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur in Adm. Case Nos. 08-2014 and 09-2014, in effect, stay the implementation of said Decision appealed from,” it pointed out.
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