Tabuk mayor bows to suspension order
The mayor and the seven co-accused were alleged of hiking the prices of the PPEs, masks and medicals supplies in March 2020 when the whole entire Luzon was put under strict lockdown
BAGUIO CITY — Tabuk City Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero on Sunday stressed that he is respecting the recent move of the Commission on Elections to approve the request of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the suspension order against him.
This comes as the Comelec on 13 September favored the recommendation of the DILG to proceed the suspension of Estrañero; Clarin, Bohol Mayor Euganio Ibarra; San Simon, Pampanga Mayor Abundio Punsalan Jr. and Goa, Camarines Mayor Racquel Lim.
Estrañero said that he respects the action of the Comelec if that is how they interpret the documents pertaining to his case. However, he disclosed that his office is still waiting for the copy of the order.
He added that the Tabuk City government is the first local government unit in the north that acted promptly in employing mass RT-PCR tests in detecting the virus that hit their constituents so that appropriate treatments and measures will be done.
To recall, the Office of the Ombudsman issued suspension orders against the town mayors for different violations said to be in contradiction to their mandates in their areas of responsibility.
Estrañero in July was ordered suspended by the Ombudsman because of simple misconduct which stemmed from the complaint slapped against him and six officials of the City’s Bids and Awards Committee and Tabuk City Accountant alleging them of irregularities in the purchase of personal protective equipment, masks and medical supplies.
The case was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman by Tabuk City Vice Mayor Bernard Glenn Dao-as, a certain individual and the National Bureau of Investigation-Cagayan.
The mayor and the seven co-accused were alleged of hiking the prices of the PPEs, masks and medicals supplies in March 2020 when the whole entire Luzon was put under strict lockdown.
On 28 November 2022, a decision was issued by the Ombudsman’s Graft Investigation and Prosecution office and on 11 July 2023, the Ombudsman signed the decision suspending the officials for six months from the service.
Except for Estrañero, the other co-accused were absolved from the case. However, order is yet deemed for finalization and implementation as the mayor filed for a motion for reconsideration.
“All I did was to look for ways to save my constituents from the virus,” said Estrañero in a phone interview on why he signed the documents for the purchase of the medical equipment.
The DILG was prompted to request the Comelec for the implementation as Section 26 (x) of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits the suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer without prior approval of the poll body due to the coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on 30 October 2023.
Read more Daily Tribune stories at: https://tribune.net.ph/
Follow us on social media