DILG: Suspended Gamay mayor may be sued for defying suspension order
CATARMAN, N.Samar – For not following the suspension order issued against him, the mayor of Gamay town is courting a possible legal action against him.
Thus said Valentin Bajet, provincial operations officer of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), when asked on the defiance of suspended mayor, Timoteo Capoquian, not to vacate his post despite the suspension order issued against him.
Last October 5, Bajet issued a memorandum to the municipal local government operations officer (MLGOO) of Gamay recognizing Vice Mayor Moveble Martinico as the acting mayor of the town.
“For us, it is already the vice mayor who is the acting mayor of Gamay. All official communications from the DILG will be forwarded to him,” Bajet told Leyte Samar Daily Express in an interview.
But since Capoquian refused to let Martinico take over his post, the latter may file legal actions against the suspended mayor, Bajet added.
“I advised the vice mayor to file a case at the regional trial court against Mayor Capoquian for quo warranto,’ Bajet said.
A quo warranto is a court order that requires a person to state by what authority he is holding his or her position.
In a mobile interview, Martinico said that Capoquian’s supporters continue to hold vigil inside the municipal building every night since October 12.
The acting mayor said he could not function well as Capoquian would prevent the employees to recognize him.
“They closed the gate; I could not even enter my office at the legislative building. They have practically occupied the municipal hall,” Martinico said.
Because of the situation, the salaries of employees and other operations of the local government unit were also affected, Martinico said.
“He has threatened the employees not to attend the meetings that I have initiated. We have yet to receive our salary for the first 15 days of this month as he insisted that he be the one who will sign the checks,” Martinico added.
He said that he is mulling legal actions against the suspended mayor as advised by the DILG.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Northern Samar slapped Capoquian a three-month suspension order on September 17 due to an administrative case filed against him.
Gamay Councilor Crisanta Montances lodged serious misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, discourtesy and act unbecoming of a public official” against the beleaguered mayor.
The SP verdict was approved and imposed by Governor Paul Daza who sent a team from the provincial security office to Gamay to immediately serve the suspension order.
Capoquian, however, did not acknowledge Daza’s order. In his media interviews, Capoquian first questioned the validity of the governor’s memorandum on his suspension as he noticed that it was “unnumbered”.
Then he declared that the SP decision was void arguing that he still has a pending motion for certiorari and prohibition at the RTC in Gamay and at the Court of Appeals (CA). RACHEL V. ARNAIZ
Short URL: http://leytesamardaily.net/?p=34034