DILG backs Bulaong in Libmanan controversy

NAGA CITY(Bicol Standard)--Officials and employees of Libmanan, Camarines Sur have expressed hope that they will receive their salaries, bonuses, and other benefits this coming week, after almost four months of being deprived of these.

In an interview, Municipal Council Jesus Camara told the Bicol Standard that they had a fruitful meeting with Presidential Assistant for Bicol Affairs Usec. Marvel Clavecilla here regarding the controversy that hounded employees, officials, and residents.

Camara explained that during the meeting with Clavecilla, they were given assurance by DILG Regional Director Atty. Anthony Nuyda that Acting Mayor Rommel Bulaong will be issued the certification requested by the town’s depository banks for the local government to engage in transactions.

Nuyda told Clavecilla that this is following the directive coming from the central office to recognize Bulaong as the authorized person.

The same certification will be submitted to DILG Municipal Government Operations Officer Nonilon Lopez.

“We expect that the controversy will be resolved by next week,” Camara declared. “Usec. Clavecilla said he wants a win-win solution in this issue.”

The residents, employees, and officials of Libmanan have been suffering brunt of the controversy that ensued when a suspension order was issued to Mayor Bernard Brioso based on the administrative complaint filed against him with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur last year.

Camara, in a related interview, told the Bicol Standard that since November 8, which was the effectivity of the suspension order against Brioso, there had been no transactions in the local government unit.

This includes the non-release of salaries and wages, the Christmas bonus, and other benefits, he said.
Even the payments charged against Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) including electric bills and salaries and wages of employees like street cleaners, among others, remain unsettled.

Camara said that the depository banks of the Local Government Unit, Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, would not allow the encashment of checks issued by the LGU until a clarification is made by the DILG.

It will be recalled that Brioso was preventively suspended from November 8, 2018 to January 8, 2019 for issuing a Mayor’s Pemit to Tinandayagan Falls and Resort, which is owned by his sister Socorro, who allegedly failed to comply with the documentary requirements.

During such time, Vice Mayor Rommel Bulaong assumed office as Acting Mayor.

Brioso refused to comply with the suspension order, and still continued to perform the functions of the Office of the Mayor, Camara said.

He even issued a memorandum to all department heads, saying that he has a pending appeal with the Office of the President, hence he will not relinquish his position.

On January 8, 2019, Brioso was served another order of suspension, which is punitive in nature, for six months, with which he again refused to comply.

This prompted Clavecilla to call for a dialogue to thresh out the issue.

Clavecilla has scheduled another meeting this coming week, to be attended by DILG RD Nuyda.

In the same meeting, the local officials expect to iron out other issues relevant to the controversy in Libmanan.