Absentee councilor resigns, escapes Ombudsman case

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Sep 03 2014 03:51 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2014 03:36 AM

BATANGAS - An absentee municipal councilor of San Jose town in Batangas has resigned from his post, preempting the filing of an administrative case against him.

Councilor Rizaldy H. Kalalo submitted his letter of resignation to Municipal Mayor Entiquio Briones and Vice Mayor Valentino Patron, citing health reasons.

"As I could no longer continue to dispense my duties as an elected councilor of the Municipality of San Jose, Batangas due to health reason(s), I am tendering my irrevocable resignation effective this date," Kalalo said in his September 1 letter.

Kalalo's resignation came as a formal complaint was set to be filed by his co-councilors at the Office of the Ombudsman for his failure to attend 10 consecutive sessions.

A case of grave misconduct was signed by complainants Ronald Apritado, Gerald Alday, Ruel Ilao, Rhyan Czar Carandang, Nicanor Dimaculangan Jr., Marife Bathan, Merlita Magnaye, and Herminigildo Maquinto, all councilors of San Jose town, after the session on Monday morning.

In a four-page document, the complainants cited Kalalo's consecutive absences in the regular Monday session of the Sangguniang Bayan covering the period of June 23 to August 18 as the cause of action.

"Respondent for unknown reason which reason is only known to him, failed to report to office and deliberately refused to perform his duties and functions as Sanggunian member far from what he swore in during his oath taking as elected public servant," the document read.

In his speech during the question hour, Councilor Alday said the council made all efforts to get in touch with Kalalo but he never replied to text messages, phone calls, and even the formal notice sent by the body.

Complainants cited in the document that the respondent's act of deliberately absenting from the sessions was willful intent to violate the law or disregard established rules which constitute grave misconduct.

Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991 cites grave misconduct as a ground for administrative action that may be punishable by removal from office.

With the acceptance of Kalalo's resignation, the administrative complaint against him will no longer be pursued.