Mayor can pressure employees to pay up
TALISAY City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes can compel the 13 City Hall employees and a councilor to refund the P29.4 million used to buy computers and fertilizers over a decade ago.
Regional Director Rene Burdeos of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG-7) said De los Reyes can implement the refund order issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) against former mayor and now Talisay City Councilor Socrates Fernandez and several department heads.
At least nine department heads still in city government service were directed by De los Reyes through a demand letter sent on Feb. 15 to return the funds.
“Siya (De los Reyes) is the head of office. If he has the order to do so, he can,” Burdeos said.
He said the DILG can only implement a COA order if it involves their own employees.
In a separate interview, Mayor De los Reyes said Fernandez and the city government employees should comply with the COA order.
The mayor said only a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court (SC) and a COA order can stop him from enforcing the refund order. The 13 persons involved are still waiting for the SC’s decision on their petition.
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