By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY — For alleged dishonesty and grave misconduct, the Abra provincial council suspended the mayor of Lagayan town for the third time.
Mayor Jendricks Luna personally received the six months suspension order issued by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on January 9, 2019. Also included in the suspension is his wife, vice mayor Joy Chrisma.
Two suspension orders were issued last year in relation to the complaints filed by Lagayan councilor Noel Cortez in August 2018, charging the Luna’s of lying about the real status of at least two road projects funded from the town’s internal revenue allotment.
The provincial board summoned Luna in August 2018 to answer the accusations. However, the mayor through his counsel asked the body to keep away from the issue, insisting the roads were paved and there was no irregularity committed. But in an inspection conducted by the Provincial Engineering Office’s (PEO) discovered the project remains to be a dirt road.
In a letter dated December 11, the suspended officials refused to vacate their positions citing Section 9 of Administrative Order No. 22 issued during the last Aquino administration. The provision states that penalties for erring officials may be stayed while on appeal. Luna has appealed their case with the Office of the President.
However, Atty. Estelita Cordero, the counsel for the complainant said the case of Luna is governed by the Local Government Code “which says that penalty decisions are immediately executory.”
The lawyer also dismissed the claim of political harassment by Luna’s camp.
“It’s just a coincidence that all three cases filed in Aug. 6, 2018 were decided now [because] they delayed the proceedings by so many motions and manifestations,” she said. # nordis.net