Officials may face admin raps
CEBU, Philippines — Administrative sanctions may be imposed on any San Fernando, Cebu official who has failed to perform his or her obligations to the town, said an official of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-7.
However, there must be a formal complaint lodged against the official concerned before any action can be taken against them.
Lawyer Ian Kenneth Lucero, chief of the Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division of DILG- 7, said any concerned citizen or individual may file a complaint before the agency or with the Cebu provincial government.
He said the provincial governor has direct supervision over the component municipalities under his or her jurisdiction if the local officials at their respective towns have complied with their obligations and duties.
For its part, DILG-7 has not yet received any complaint against any official in San Fernando, Cebu.
San Fernando Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya is still recuperating at the hospital after she and her companions, including two municipal employees, were ambushed on Tuesday night in Talisay City.
While the mayor is not physically present at the town hall, Lucero said the “rule of succession” applies, so as to make sure that the delivery of basic services will not be hampered and internal operations at the local government unit will not be paralyzed.
“If in case there is temporary vacancy or incapacity of the mayor to perform her duty due to physical or legal reasons, the vice mayor may take over and without the vice mayor, the first rank Sangguniang Bayan member may follow,” he explained.
Reports emerged after a concerned citizen complained to the Sanggunian about the prolonged absence of Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalones, brother of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones.
Also, the town’s human resource officer also admitted that two councilors allegedly tagged into the illegal drug trade had been missing in the weekly council sessions for weeks.
Lucero said there is no problem if a certain local official has formally applied for a leave, where its duration or period of absence depends on the approving authority.
He added the vice mayor must seek approval from the mayor while the municipal councilors must seek approval from the former.
Lucero said an official that has been absent without an official leave application might face an administrative sanction, where the disciplinary action would depend on the degree of the offense that the official has committed.
Other than the offense of being absent without having an official leave, Lucero said an official may also be imposed with other sanctions if he or she has committed other violations such as failing to perform his or her duties that disrupted the delivery of basic services.
He, however, said that handling these concerns must follow “due process.”
If a complaint is lodged, the official will still have to be subjected to an investigation that may be handled either by the Cebu Provincial Board or the Office of the Ombudsman to determine his or her corresponding sanction.
The difference is that the former has limited authority that can only impose suspension for a maximum of six months while the latter can impose the extreme penalty for an administrative case which is dismissal. — GAN (FREEMAN)