“Mr. Chairman, can I be recognized?” Mayor Nelson Garcia asked Board Member Peter John Calderon, the presiding officer in last Monday’s Provincial Board (PB) session.
The latter replied, “Denied.”
The penalty of six-month suspension for grave abuse of authority was decided with finality by the PB members. On March 9, 2015, there was a motion by Board Member Alex Binghay if there was a possibility that the six-month suspension be reduced to three months.
During yesterday’s session, Board Member Arleigh Sitoy read the report by the Comittee on Complaints and Investigation regarding the motion to reduce the sentence:
“If this committee will tolerate the acts of the respondent mayor, this committee would not be serving the best interest of the people, it would not be serving the mandate of the local government code. Surely, even men of the most ordinary intelligence would immediately see that the defense of the respondent is downright absurd and endowedly generous.
“If the defense of the respondent be tolerated, the present situation of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Dumanjug would easily be replicated in other jurisdictions to the detriment of its constituents. Considering more importantly, the gravity of the act and the administrative offenses committed, it is hereby recorded and hereby moved that the motion for reconsideration be denied.”
After which, Sitoy moved that the motion for reconsideration initiated by Binghay be denied. Immediatley thereafter, Board Member Joven Mondigo Jr. raised a query if the respondent can file a motion for reconsideration as to the decision itself. Sitoy answered in the affirmative.
During the deliberations, there was an instance wherein the respondent mayor asked to discuss and argue the complaints filed against him before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The presiding officer denied the latter’s request because it is against the house rules. Furthermore, the respondent had been given every opportunity to defend himself during the earlier stages of the investigation.
Calderon asked the Provincial Board if there are any objections regarding the recommendation of the committee report. There was no representative who raised any opposition on the matter. Ultimately, the resolution denying the commutation of the penalty was affirmed.
Board Members Sun Shimura and Joven Mondigo Jr. made a manifestation that they do not wish to object on the resolution but would like to put on record about their abstention. They clarified that their non-participation was for the denial of the commutation of the sentence.
After the end of the legislative session, Mayor Nelson Garcia adamantly insisted, “Ang Ginoo gani gi-pangutana pa siya ni Pontio Pilato, na ikaw ba ang anak sa Ginoo? Nakatubag pa ang Ginoo. Kita, di gyud ta tagaan ug higayon. Ngano man mahadlok man sila na pasulti-on ko? Mahadlok sila na mo sulti ko sa tinuod? Ako ni barug ko, bisan kahibalo ko na madaut ko. I asked to be recognized, I was not recognized. Yes, I will file a case against all these Board Members na ni pirma kay sobra ra kaayo ang ilang gibuhat ka nato. (Even Pontius Pilate gave Our Lord an oppurtunity to be heard. I was not given such opportunity. Why are they afraid to let me speak? Perhaps, they are afraid about the truth. I stood up, even if I knew that it was futile, but still I was not recognized. Yes, I will file a case. The actions of these Board Members, who voted to suspend me, caused me irreparable injury).”
When asked for a comment about the respondent mayor’s comments and possible legal actions, Board Member Sanchez simply said, “We will just face it in the proper forum.”