Ombudsman suspends Iligan vice mayor, 12 councilors for simple misconduct

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2017 12:42 AM

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of the vice mayor of Iligan City and 12 councilors due to simple misconduct.

Vice Mayor Monsignor Jemar Vera Cruz made the announcement Monday during the flag ceremony.

He said the Mayor's Office received an order from the Ombudsman, suspending him and councilors Samuel Huertas, Eric Capitan, Jesse Ray Balanay, Demosthenes Plando, Belinda Lim, Sorilie Bacsarpa, Ian Uy, Randy Ryan Ong, Bernard Pacaña, Petronilo PArdillo, Renato Ancis and Datu Diamla and Rolando Soong.

With their suspension, only Councilors Cesarve Siacor and Queenie Belmonte were left in the Sangguniang Panglunsod.

They have been found guilty of simple misconduct and are to be suspended for a month and a day. 

The decision pertains to the administrative cases filed against them by former Congressman Vicente Belmonte and former Vice Mayor Ruderic Marzo last year for recognizing detained Celso Regencia as mayor and authorizing him to transact and appoint officials. 

The complainants held that Regencia was legally incapacitated.

Vera Cruz said he is not ashamed of the suspension.

“Your vice mayor, your councilors are suspended for recognizing that Mayor Celso Regencia is the legitimate Mayor of Iligan City. This evidenced that your vice mayor will never snatch the power given to the mayor,” he told the local government employees.

City Information Officer Jose Pantoja said that the councilors based their support for Regencia on the dismissal of his usurpation case and on Department of Interior and Local Government Region 10’s opinion that Regencia has legal capacity despite his detention.

Vera Cruz and the councilors hopes to get a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals and file a motion for certiorari so they can call for a special session and agree on the release of bonuses and wages of government employees before Christmas.