LINGAYEN—All administrative cases pending before the provincial board’s Committee on Good Government and Accountability of Public Officers, except in the case of the mayor of Urbiztondo, will be declared moot and academic as the legal period for a decision have lapsed.
The law requires that hearings on administrative cases filed before the committee must be terminated within the 90-day period before the next elections.
Sixth District Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr., chairman of the committee, said “all except the case involving Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. of Urbiztondo, will be declared as moot and academic because there is no more time (to undergo hearings)… but a decision will be rendered on Balolong.”
Bince explained that Balolong’s case is “special” because after he was initially placed under preventive suspension by the committee, Malacañang issued an order reinstating the mayor pending his suspension order.
“I think we should terminate it (Balolong’s case), whatever is the decision,” he said.
Balolong has filed a motion to dismiss the case, which the committee denied.
The provincial board meted a 60-day preventive suspension against Balolong for grave misconduct in office and abuse of authority.
Malacañang then set aside the suspension order on October 2, saying that the “Charges based on mere suspicion and speculation cannot be given credence. It cannot serve as basis for the imposition of preventive suspension”.
Balolong is facing charges of misconduct based on the case filed by Loida Cancino, former Municipal Treasurer of Urbiztondo regarding a bank loan disbursed by the mayor to finance some projects.
The other pending cases involve the towns of Binmaley and Mangatarem.
The vice mayor of Binmaley town and seven municipal councilors filed counter complaints against each other over the conduct of two sessions in one day involving the grant of a P55-million bank loan for the municipal government.
In Mangatarem, the vice mayor and four councilors are also facing am administrative case filed by 98 concerned citizens for misconduct in office.
Three appeal cases from Lingayen, Sta. Barbara, Alcala and Sta. Maria towns are also pending before the committee.–Eva Visperas