Narra mayor Gerandy Danao (File photo)

Narra Mayor Gerandy Danao’s legal team is hoping that their recently filed partial motion for reconsideration (MR) before the Office of the President (OP) will allow him to return to office earlier than November, which is the end of his suspension.

The OP previously reduced Danao’s suspension from 20 to 14 months by acquitting him of a grave misconduct charge on issuing special cockfighting permits, one of the cases filed against him by the Sangguniang Bayan.  According to his spokesperson Jojo Gastanes, the legal team submitted the motion on June 22, which is the end of the OP’s 15-day appeal deadline.

Danao was acquitted in one out of four administrative cases. The dismissed charge was equivalent to six months of suspension. Two of his cases (another grave misconduct charge and a gross negligence charge) meted him with six months suspension each while the last case (conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service) had him on a two-month suspension.

By appealing to bring down charges on two of the administrative cases, the legal team hopes that a favorable decision from the OP will mean Danao can return to office as soon as the decision is made.

“Doon sa gross negligence, na hindi agad nakapag-submit [si Danao] ng executive budget before October 16, nakapag-submit naman siya, may kulang lang. Diniscuss ng aming mga abogado na hindi makatarungan na papatawan mo ng anim na buwan doon sa gross negligence. It could be a reprimand on simple negligence,” Gastanes said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“’Yong doon naman sa grave misconduct, which was ‘yong nag-issue siya ng permit without concurrence ng Sangguniang Bayan ng Narra, hindi rin namin tanggap kasi walang grave misconduct doon. The mere fact na ‘yong permit ay dumating sa office niya at sinabihan niyang mag-comply sila [mga applicant ng permit], pinasara niya. Ibig sabihin, wala siyang intention to violate the law. Walang grave misconduct doon, maaaring simple misconduct ‘yon or simple reprimand,” Gastanes added.

Danao has so far completed nearly nine out of 14 months of his suspension, which began in September 2020.

Gastanes confirmed that Danao still plans to run for mayor again in the 2022 elections, and is working with his new political group, Sulong sa Pagbabago, Bangon Narra for potential candidates for vice mayor and Sangguniang Bayan members.

“Wala pa ring names, pero marami nang mga nag-aapply for councilors at mayroon kaming committee para sa screening,” he explained.