Labogon village chief, two councilors placed under preventive suspension
The village chief of Barangay Labogon, Mandaue City and two councilors were preventively suspended for 60 days following an investigation for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Labogon Barangay Captain Renato Suson, Barangay Councilors Alfredo Estrada and Benwilson Bodo Jr. were ordered to cease and desist from performing the functions and duties of their respective offices.
The complaint for graft was filed by their fellow barangay councilors, Amado Manatad, Corazon Dajao-Tumulak, Marvin Soco and Baby Besabella Gutierez against the respondents for the procurement of 65 bags of cement, five cubic meters each of sand and gravel and 1,000 pieces of hollow blocks, which had no receipts and was done without bidding, or non-compliance with the provisions of RA 9184.
The complaint was filed last July 10, 2017 before the Mandaue City Council. The respondents filed their joint counter-affidavit last August 5, 2017.
The complainants and the respondents were called to a preliminary conference last September 6, and 13 2017 to thresh out the issues and explore a possible amicable settlement.
Because the charges involved gross dishonesty and grave misconduct, the City Council continued its probe and placed the respondents under a 60-day preventive suspension.
City Legal Officer James Sayson emphasized that preventive suspension is not a penalty but is simply a deterrent in order to prevent the respondents from influencing possible witnesses or tampering with evidence.
Sayson said Suson and the two councilors were not there to receive their copy of the suspension order prompting them to post the copies in two places in the barangay hall.
Sayson was tasked by the City Council to serve the suspension order through a resolution passed and approved last December 21, 2017.
A representative from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also accompanied the City Legal Office in serving the suspension order.
Elizabeth Dimpas, a barangay worker, said she believes the complaint is politically motivated because Suson would refuse to sign a payroll which he believes is anomalous.
Another barangay worker, Darwin Dano, also believed that it has something to do with politics.
“Nagtuo mi nga mogawas ra gihapon ang kamatuoran kay ila ra nang pasangil,” said Dano. (We believe that the truth will still come out as those are only their accusations.)
Suson could not be reached for comment and did not reply to our text messages.
He was ordered to turn over the Office of the Punong Barangay to the highest ranking barangay councilor, Amado Manatad, who would discharge the duties and functions of the office while he is under preventive suspension.
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