Replacement of Daluz as MCWD chair was ‘legal and valid’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Lawyer Carlo Vincent Gimena, the head of the Cebu City Legal Office, said that the removal of Joey Daluz III as chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and the appointment of new board members was “legal and valid.”
He also debunked the statement released by Daluz on October 31, which mentioned that the appointment of the new board members was “unlawful” because it was contrary to law.
“LWUA (Local Water Utilities Administration) did not act upon it [the application request sent by the legal office] in the prescribed period, that’s why under RA 11032 relative to ARTA Memorandum Circular 2020-06 series of 2020, such removal has been deemed approved by LWUA itself,” said Gimena in an interview with CDN Digital on Friday, November 3.
According to Gimena, LWUA received on August 17 the letter request coming from his office seeking the immediate issuance of a certificate of no objection to the removal and termination of Daluz and other members of the MCWD board.
Those replaced were Daluz and former board members Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn Sato.
However, LWUA did not act on the letter within the prescribed period, which was tantamount to an automatic approval of their request.
Gimena said that Section 10 of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 states that if a government office or agency fails to approve or disapprove an original application or request for the issuance of a license, clearance, permit, certification or authorization within the prescribed processing time, said application or request shall be deemed approved provided that all required documents were submitted and all fees and charges were paid.
“Unya LWUA was given three working days to act upon the said application request. It is considered as a simple construction. Seven days kung complex or 20 days if highly technical,” Gimena said.
“Unsa naman ta ron? Pila na kabuwan ang milabay nga ang maximum period is 20 days from [the time] they received [our letter last] Aug 17,” he added.
Prescribed processing time
Gimena said that the removal of the previous MWCD chairman and directors and the appointment of new ones was in accordance with the law.
“It is provided in this law and it applies to all government agencies, including LWUA,” he said.
Moreover, Gimena said that the automatic approval of all pending applications that remain unacted beyond the prescribed processing time was also provided under Section 7 of Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Memorandum Circular 2020-06 Series of 2020.
“Klaro jud kaayo nga nilapas na application, wala nila aksyoni. So, it is deemed approved under this law,” Gimena said.
And since the certificate of no objection was already been deemed automatically approved, the vacancies at the MCWD board needed to be filled.
“In effect, Mayor Rama has validly appointed new members of MCWD. So mao na siyay klaro, theres already basis,” Gimena said.
Clear and objective
Gimena also insisted that there was no “politics” involved in the replacement of Daluz and two others. He even referred to the process as “clear and objective.”
“I dont think its politics kay klaro man kaayo nga naay lig-on nga basehanan ba, kana bitaw gi-remove sila,” he said.
Gimena said that an investigation was conducted to look into corruption accusations against Daluz in accordance with due process.
“Naa man gyud tay investigation reports. There was due process. They were given show cause para naa silay opportunity to be heardunya although si daluz ra ang ni tubag,” Gimena said.
“The investigation has been conducted properly and there has been a recommendation by Atty Castillo, former legal council, such recommendation of their removal has been duly approved by the Mayor,” he added.
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