PB shifts focus on probe vs. mayor of Dumanjug over appointment

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A CEBU Provincial Board (PB) committee will now focus its investigation on allegations that Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia had no intention of replacing the Municipal Council secretary he had appointed.

PB Member Arleigh Sitoy, chairman of the committee on investigation, said his committee will look into complaint of Vice Mayor Efren Gica that Mayor Nelson Garcia did not convene the personnel selection board (PSB) to select applicants to replace his Municipal Council secretary-designate Emmilou Cabonillas.

After Victor Tan Jr. resigned, Garcia designated Cabonillas as acting SB secretary “up to the time when an appointed secretary shall assume office.” Gica, after assuming post in July last year, appointed Nerio Aquino as replacement.


“Aquino was already appointed... There is a reported intent to let Cabonillas continue holding on to the position,” said Sitoy, referring to Gica’s complaint.

In his press conference last Tuesday, Garcia said that being the mayor, he has the prerogative to fill the vacancy, citing Section 80 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Having two municipal council secretaries created conflict, prompting Gica to file before the PB a case of grave abuse of authority against Garcia. The PB has since recommended to Gov. Hilario Davide III to place Garcia under a 60-day preventive suspension.

Sitoy also denied they are being influenced by higher party officials.

“The committee on investigation is never influenced by the vice governor or the governor,” Sitoy stressed yesterday.

Gica and majority of the PB members are allied with the ruling Liberal Party. Garcia, on the other hand, belongs to One Cebu.

Sitoy also said the recommendation to suspend Garcia is not a form of punishment.
“It’s not the end of the game. (We) just (want) to ensure that the investigation will not be hampered,” Sitoy stressed.

As of yesterday afternoon, Sitoy said they have not yet transmitted to Davide the recommendation to suspend Garcia. He also said he has not yet received Garcia’s motion for reconsideration.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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