DILG inaction one for ” Ripley’s Believe It Or Not “

        The latest in this continuing saga  for the mayorship  of Puerto Princesa, came from the  Court of Appeals, which  upheld  its  earlier exoneration of Mayor Bayron and established  further his legitimacy as Chief Executive  of Puerto Princesa. In effect, the reliance by Vice Mayor Marcaida on the Ombudsman’s earlier order relieving Bayron for serious dishonesty, simply did not wash. And  while  the decision did not  preclude other legal remedies  available for the  Vice Mayor,  the  CA’s  Friday the 13th order  is  certainly a huge legal and moral victory  for Mayor Bayron in his quest to  hold on  to power.

Quick to the draw, the Vice Mayor’s spokesperson, Elmer Zita, branded the decision as a ” public deception … because the ruling of the CA cannot overrule the decision of the Ombudsman  ….only the Supreme Court can…. ..”   If this is indeed the thinking of detained Vice Mayor Marcaida, then he owe it to his beloved city to bring the matter to the SC and let the gods of Padre Faura decide the case with finality. Meanwhile, let’s go on with our lives and let City Hall do what it is supposed to do – govern the city without the embarrassing barricades.


BRIEFLY NOTED: It took a party-list representative to bring to the national government’s attention the paralyzing impasse of the mayoralty row in Puerto Princesa. KABAYAN  Representative ( and Palawan’s  “4th congressman” ) Harry Roque called on  his colleagues in the  lower House to look into the peculiar situation of Mayor  Bayron  whose exoneration  by the CA of an earlier findings by the Ombudsman is  being ignored.  Roque’s contention is that the Ombudsman should respect the CA’s decision, it being merely a quasi -judicial body whose decisions are subject to review by the courts.  Rep.Harry’s  speech at  the House had  help  clarify the issues, but unintentionally, may have  given the wrong impression to a broader audience, that all is not well, in the capital city of the ” world’s most beautiful island “. With images of City Hall being barricaded and rallies held here and there for both camps, i wonder how many millions are lost in tourism income because of our own leaders’ undoing!


AND BY THE WAY:  At the center of the mayoralty storm is DILG, the government department tasked to supervise the operations of LGU’s. Besieged by both camps, its top brass in the City and in its Regional offices appear literally lost and bewildered, their decisions petrified by the possibility of legal actions that may be filed against them. In fact, the legal team of Mayor Bayron had  the temerity to send  a terse memo to the DILG Regional Director  warning her of  dire consequences should  she move against  Mayor Bayron. This is one for “Ripley’s Believe it or Not “where a regulator could be casually threatened into inaction, and had to conveniently hide from where the fire of action is.

Of what good then is a DILG that cannot effectively assert its mandate?  If the agency is convinced that the Ombudsman is correct, then damn the torpedoes, go ahead and implement its Order. Otherwise, ignore the Ombudsman’s belated action and uphold the judicial power of the Courts. But please, don’t be a wimp and prolong the agony of Puerto Princesans – who certainly deserve a respite from all the political wrangling in the city. As a philosopher of old once commented, “let justice be done though the heaven’s fall”.

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