Pili mayor faces raps

Mayor Tom Bongalonta

PILI, Camarines Sur 1/31/17 (Bicol Standard)— Twin complaint-affidavits were executed by Yolanda M. Berina, Punong Barangay of New San Roque here against respondents Mayor Tomas P. Bongalonta, Jr. and David O. Olaguera.

The first complaint-affidavit is criminal in nature, hence, it will be filed with the Ombudsman.

The second complaint is an administrative case that will be filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur, which has jurisdiction on the matter.

As alleged by Berina, Bongalonta violated the pertinent provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019), specifically Section 3 (e) the said law.

This was when, as town chief executive, he appointed David O. Olaguera, as his personal driver/security, knowing fully well that the latter is an elected member of the Sangguiang Barangay of New San Roque, hence is appointment is against the law.

The complainant quoted Section 7 of Art. IX of the 1987 Constitution, which prohibits the appointment of Olaguera in any capacity and to any public office or position during his tenure as an elected member of the Sangguniang Barangay.

The said prohibition was clearly transgressed by Bongalonta, she said.

Berina also believes that Bongalonta and Olaguera are both liable under the said provision of the Anti-Graft Law and the 1987 Constitution.

Meanwhile, a separate administrative complaint will be filed against the same respondents with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur.

Furthermore, the complaint-affidavit narrated that Mayor Bongalonta has given unwarranted benefit or favor to Olaguera when he authorized the payment P7,500.00 to him as his salary for his service per month.

“Bongalonta is presumed to know the law and his gross ignorance thereof does not excuse his violation. This is especially because as Municipal Mayor he is charged with implementing the law,” the complainant added.

The said complaint-affidavit was notarized on January 25, 2017.

Political persecution issue

In a related development, Camarines Sur Vice Governor Fortunato “Ato” Pena has issued a vehement denial that he has a hand in the alleged plan to subject Mayor Bongalonta to administrative suspension by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

He told the members of the media that he is not the complainant, nor has any knowledge or participation in the preparation of whatever complaint against Bongalonta.

“You can refer to the official records of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and verify the said issue. There is a private complainant. If ever, it will be heard by a competent committee who will recommend whatever course of action that the body will make. As far as I am concerned, I have no involved in this complaint,” Pena said.

Meanwhile, this political development was further fuelled by Vice Governor Pena’s confirmation over a radio broadcast that he is considering running for mayor of the capital town.

If this happens, he will slug it out with Bongalonta.

Preventive suspension

In the complaint-affidavit that will be filed with the Sangguniang Pananawigan, Berina prays for the issuance of a Preventive Suspension against Mayor Tomas B. Bongalonta, Jr., and respondent barangay Kagawad David O. Olaguera, pursuant to Art. 127, Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991.

If after due hearing on the merits, and the respondents are found guilty as charged, the most proper disciplinary action for each of the offenses of Gross Negligence, Serious Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the best interest of the service, as may be determined by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. (BICOLSTANDARD.COM)