Honoraria dispute may lead to Mambaling brgy chief’s suspension
CEBU CITY, Philippines — For withholding the honoraria of four barangay councilors since July, Mambaling Barangay Captain Gines Abellana may face suspension for at least three to four months.
This developed after the City Council found Abellana guilty of abuse of authority for allegedly not allowing Councilors Anne Marie Palomo, Edwin Managbanag, Victoriano Laborte and Neonita Cuestas to receive their honoraria.
The four village councilors, who are allied under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), filed the complaint before the council last September.
Abellana, on the other hand, is allied with the opposition Partido – Barug.
The council’s committee on laws and ordinance reached the decision dated December 18, 2018, and this was introduced before the council during their regular session last Tuesday, January 8.
However, Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, the council’s presiding officer, said it would be up to the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) to decide whether or not the suspension order against Abellana should be executed.
“The SP (Sangguniang Panglungsod) Secretary should consult first to the DILG on this matter. Because under Sec. 60 of the Local Government Code, the SP is only allowed to do disciplinary actions against barangay officials, but as to the implementation, DILG should be asked about it,” Labella said.
Reporters tried to reach out to the Department of Interior Local Government in Cebu City (DILG – Cebu City) for their comments but to no avail.
Meanwhile, Palomo, in an interview with reporters, accused Abellana of grave abuse of authority for refusing to grant her, and three other barangay councilors their honoraria.
Palomo said this stemmed from their group’s refusal to be assigned as the barangay’s Officer of the Day.
“Each of us could have received P108,000 for all the time he did not release our honoraria. He assigned us to be the Officers of the Day for the barangay which we believe is not in accordance to the law,” said Palomo.
“There’s no legal basis for his decision on withholding our honoraria. An elective official should not dictate the job of his coelective official,” she added.
Palomo also said that as of now, they had yet to receive their honoraria.
When sought for comment, Abellana said he decided not to release the honoraria of the BOPK-allied barangay councilors since they had refused his instructions to assume as Officers of the Day.
“I find them as a great disservice to the barangay,” Abellana said.
On the other hand, the village captain said he was confident that the suspension meted by the council would not be implemented.
He also said he was planning to file serious and grave abuse of discretion against ‘everyone who signed the decision’.
“I have not received any copy of the decision yet but if ever, I will assess my plans on filing a serious and grave abuse of discretion against all who signed it,” added Abellana./dbs
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