Gov. Tallado blocks Ombudsman's suspension order

DAET, Camarines Norte, August 16, 2016 (Bicol Standard) –“The people of Camarines Norte are already suffering because of the interference of the Ombudsman and DILG V Regional Director Elouisa Pastor.”
Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado
This was the statement issued by Atty. Marcelo Adan Botor, Provincial Administrator of the province, in an exclusive interview by the BICOL STANDARD.

Botor said that the LGU had encountered some problems with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as well as the Development Bank of the Philippines (DPB) since they were not allowed to transact business due to the legal controversy.

It will be recalled that last week, Gov. Edgardo Tallado filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Daet, for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and later prays for a Permanent Injunction against the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which threatened to enforce a one-year administrative suspension against the governor.

Tallado, speaking thru Atty. Botor said that DILG V Regional Director Pastor earlier allegedly warned the governor that the one-year suspension order against him will again be served. This, according to Pastor, is upon the instruction from the Office of Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the DILG.

“That was primarily the reason why we immediately filed a petition with the RTC to issue a TRO,” Botor explained.

Today, August 16, is the deadline given by the RTC for Gov. Tallado to file a memorandum regarding his petition. The court is expected to rule upon the issue on the 26th of this month.

Meantime, before Tallado’s assumption to his new term as governor, Atty. Botor wrote a query to DILG Usec. Panadero regarding the said assumption, due to the administrative suspension by the Ombudsman.

On June 28, 2016, Usec. Panadero informed Tallado, through Atty. Botor, that he may already assume office.

However, a day earlier, the Office of the Obudsman wrote a letter to Usec. Panadero, informing him that Tallado cannot assume office because his suspension is based on the Ombudsman special rules on administrative cases.

The same law says that government officials who are suspended administratively must serve the total number of days for his suspension.

Tallado's camp believes otherwise.

Furthermore, Section 66 of the Local Government Code does not find application in cases where the suspension is signed by the Ombudsman, according to Atty. Ma. Cristina Uy of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Atty. Botor, however, does not agree with the said Ombudsman's interpretation of the law.

Atty. Uy's letter was received by Usec Panadero last July 7.

On August 3, Usec Panadero, upon receipt of the letter signed by Atty. Uy, prepared an advisory addressed to all Regional Directors, citing as basis the suspension order against Gov. Tallado, as interpreted by Atty. Uy.

Meanwhile on August 8, 2016, Edgardo Gonzales, a party in interest to the original complaint which became the basis for the suspension of Tallado, was informed by the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the full implementation of the one-year suspension of the governor.

Also, Atty. Botor pointed out that Tallado's one-year suspension was reduced to 6 months by the Court of Appeals (CA). In which case, he said, the last day would be April 27, 2016.

He said that Tallado is ready with the legal arguments that would prove that there is no legal obstacle to the governor’s performance of duties as the duly-elected chief executive of the province.

Lastly, he warned those who have been interfering in this case, especially those who have allegedly violated the rule on subjudice will be dealt with accordingly.