Two trusted men of dismissed Panglao Mayor Nila Montero were sacked from their posts and considered no longer linked with the local government unit as of end of February by the acting Panglao Mayor Pedro Fuertes.
The letters containing the severance of the services to the town government were posted by Panglao councilor Rogelin Degoma on her Facebook account.
The two officials who got the ax were Arthur Bagcat and Danilo Reyes.
Her revelation attracted numerous reactions from netizens.
Some see Fuertes’ move as a form of internal cleansing now that Montero has been dismissed from government service by the Ombudsman.
With Montero out of the town hall, Fuertes is trying to start anew by imposing his leadership style.
Fuertes has been pushing about the principle of public office as a public trust as enshrined in the Constitution.
THE GROUNDS FOR BAGCAT’S DISMISSAL
Fuertes discontinued the contract of service of Bagcat, who is the executive assistant for engineering and the designated Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer on February 28.
The acting mayor listed several infractions allegedly committed by Bagcat while in office, which led to the ouster.
Fuertes said he wants to “clean my administration” from “very glaring” alleged rampant extortion of money on victims who are in-charge or owners of buildings and fencing construction throughout Panglao.
Also, said Fuertes, alleged violations of setbacks are “penalized” without receipts. The basis was the minutes of the meeting of the Committee of the Whole of Panglao’s Sangguniang Bayan.
Fuertes said Bagcat may return to duty once the suspended mayor gets cleared.
In a message sent to The Bohol Tribune, Bagcat wrote: “Fabricated…gama gama…presumption…pait ning gama gamaan tag sala nga wa nato mabuhat pagka nga lang nga noted ta nga supporter ni mayor unta sila man duha gibutaran tibook pamilya nako. Ako nalang silang e ampo ug dugang sir. Ginoo nay mahibawo nila.”
GROUNDS FOR REYES’ DISMISSAL
On the other hand, Fuertes pushed about the alleged “questionable” performance of Reyes during his stint as anexecutive assistant on transportation.
Fuertes listed several reasons for Reyes’ dismissal in the letter posted on Facebook.
The acting mayor said the registration of all vehicles of the town government of Panglao has yet to be completed, something that Reyes is responsible for. Reyes, in turn, pushed the responsibility of registering the vehicles of respective offices to the head of respective offices.
Fuertes charged Reyes for being allegedly “ineffective” in the supervision of Auxiliary Police in controlling the traffic in the Alona Area of Tawala, Panglao as well as the unattended expiration of the lease contract of the Alona Central Parking Area.
He also charged Reyes in the renewal of the business permits of motorbancas, clearances allegedly were issued even without clearance from the Marine Industry Authority (Marina) as raised by Kagawan Degoma.
Fuertes said he found in his own survey in Alona Beach some motorbancas still drop anchor on the white sand beach of the area.
Reyes has been accused of negligence in the supervision of the construction of the proposed holding/briefing area building in Balicasag Island which remains unfinished. This has compromised the implementation of ARS for Snorkling Activities.
Once the suspended mayor gets cleared Reyes may return to duty.
Reyes’ appointment is one of the subjects of the case against Montero that led to the suspension of the Panglao mayor.
In a text message to The Bohol Tribune, Reyes branded the allegations of Fuertes as “political, gama-gama ug walaybasihanan.”
SUSPENSION OF MONTERO
The Ombudsman has taken a long hard look at the case of Montero and found the mayor to be “guilty of grave misconduct” and ordered her dismissal from service.
The five-page order dated January 18 canceled her eligibility and forfeited her retirement benefits, at the same time, imposing perpetual disqualification from holding any public office.
This was on top of an earlier preventive suspension for 90 days issued by the Ombudsman. Montero was found to be guilty back in October for simple misconduct.
The issue stems from the case filed by Augustin Cloribel, an erstwhile ally of Montero, turned raucous critic over the alleged appointment of four persons who ran for public but lost and then appointed by Montero into office.
The law bars any person who ran in an election to be appointed into office a year after the preceding elections.
Montero appointed Noel Hormachuelos, Reyes, Apolinar Fudalan and Fernando Penales to appointed positions despite the ban.
IN THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
In the first instance of the Ombudsman order back in October 2017, Montero was seen not motivated by corruption when she appointed the four to various positions in the local government unit.
In his motion for reconsideration (MR) Cloribel described the appointments as “political accommodation.”
The second hard look of the Ombudsman saw the MR and admitted it was “impressed with merit” thus led to the new order of dismissal imposed on Montero.
It is expected for Montero to exhaust all legal remedies as she has already indicated to run for a final and third term in 2019. (Dave Albarado)