Suspended Ermita village officials file motion before Court of Appeals
THE camp of suspended Ermita barangay officials refuse to wait for a year in order to re-assume their posts.
Suspended Barangay Captain Mark Rizaldy Miral said he and the other six councilors, who were slapped with a one year suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman, filed a motion before the Court of Appeals (CA) asking for an extension of the time needed to file a petition for a review of the case.
On Thursday, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) served the one-year suspension order on Miral and Barangay Councilors Antonieto Flores, RyanJay Rosas, Ali Tamundo, Domingo Ando, Maria Buanghug, and Wilbert Flores.
The suspension was the penalty prescribed by the Ombudsman after it ruled in January this year that the officials were guilty of the charge of grave neglect of duty filed by former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) Regional Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz.
Ruiz filed the case in 2016 against then Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta and all Ermita barangay councilors after the officials purportedly failed to cooperate with the anti-narcotics agency during a drug operation in the village.
Miral was then a councilor when the case was filed.
Miral said he was relying on the CA for a fair judgment of their case which he believed to be “baseless” and “unfair”.
“With our sincerest prayers and faith, I think nothing is impossible. I am positive[ that the court will grant our appeal],” Miral said in a message sent to Cebu Daily News.
Miral also maintained that the councilors should not have been part of the case since they did not have any hand in the activities of the Barangay Peace and Safety Officers (BPSOs) nor did they bar the BPSOs from cooperating with PDEA.
“We can really say that this is politically motivated. Imagine, they wanted all of us to be suspended when only the late Kap Imok had talked with the BPSO,” said Miral.
“Why have they dragged us into this case? We already explained our side, but sad to say, [the] Ombudsman [was] one sided. Wa mi dag-anan (We are at a losing end),” he added.
With the suspension order against Miral and the six councilors in effect, the only village officials left in Ermita are Councilors Efe Rupinta, Imok’s daughter, who is now the acting barangay captain, and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairperson Rica Jaime, who sits as an ex-officio member of the barangay council.
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