The provincial board rescheduled for next week its hearing on the administrative case filed by Narra municipal councilors and the town’s vice mayor against Mayor Gerandy Danao.
The rescheduling was sought by Danao’s counsels, pointing out that the complainants did not file a pre-trial brief on time.
Presiding over the board as an adjudication body, Vice Governor Dennis Socrates also ruled that they will act next week on the complainants’ motion to place Danao under “preventive suspension” as the hearing on the complaint progresses.
On May 18, the Sangguniang Bayan filed three administrative raps against Danao — for grave misconduct, gross negligence, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
The complaint arose from an allegation that Danao irregularly issued a permit to a cockpit arena operator and that he failed to submit an annual executive budget on time for the Sangguniang Pambayan to act upon.
“We will discuss the matter separately on the same afternoon – ‘yong issue ng preventive suspension ay tatanggapin na natin ang sagot ng respondents at tapos na ‘yon, tayo na lang ang mag-uusap after noon kung anong gagawin natin. Either pagbibigyan natin ang motion or ide-deny. We will hear pending two cases in different incidents,” Socrates said.
Danao had responded to the charges by filing his own complaint against Lumba and the councilors before the Sandiganbayan.
“Sila ang nauna [mag-file ng kaso] kaya ginawa na natin ito. Mas marami silang haharapin. Basta ako malinis ang konsensya ko. Gusto nila ako mapaalis kasi marami silang tinatago. Bahala sila mag-file kung gusto nila basta hindi ako aalis sa puwesto,” Danao said.
Board member Prince Demaala IV, son of former mayor Lucena Demaala whom Danao unseated during the last local elections, inhibited himself from the proceedings.
“Ayaw natin na maapektuhan ang magiging desisyon ng Sanggunian, nagkataon lang na isa akong miyembro ng Sanggunian at complainant,” Demaala said.
Meanwhile, two legislators from southern Palawan called for an amicable settlement between Danao and the Sangguniang Bayan members.
Board member Ryan Maminta, who hails from Narra, said he will continue to convince both sides to resolve their issues against each other.
“Ako po ay isang taga-Narra. Ako ay nalulungkot sa ganitong pangyayari. Kaya dumating sa pagkakataon na ang dalawang parties ay nagkaroon ng hindi pagkakaunawaan at nahantong sa kasong administratibo dito sa Sanggunian at si mayor Danao ay nag-file din ng kaso laban sa miyembro ng Sanggunian. I implore my former colleagues in Narra to maybe amicably settle this case,” he said.
“Isa sa rule ay ang kaparaanan ng pagkakasundo, ang ating apila sa ating mga kasama ay baka pwedeng mangyari ‘yong unang bahagi ng pagdinig nito na mag-usap ang bawat panig,” Maminta added.
Board member Cesario Benedito, former mayor of Brooke’s Point, also observed that the cases filed by the parties were “personal” and called for their resolution between the individual parties.
“Pareho kayong taga-Narra. Gusto kong iparating na tayong politiko ay come and go. Ano mang gawin nating mabuti ay aalis at aalis tayo sa ating posisyon. Darating ang panahon na tayo ay magiging private citizens na at kung tayo ay hindi nagkasundo noong panahon natin ay dadalhin natin ‘yan sa ating pribadong buhay pati ng ating pamilya sa susunod pang henerasyon. Lagi natin isipin na bilang public servant ay dapat laging magandang legacy ang ating iiwan,” Benedito said.
“Kung ang executive at legislative ng bayan ng Narra ay hindi nagkakasundo ay ang maaapektuhan po ay ang ating mga kababayan. Sana maayos po ito at kung sakaling hindi ay ‘yong kasong ito ay leave it in one room and padlock it, your oath of office put in another room and padlock it — meaning if the matter is for development of Narra you should be united pero mas maganda ang amicable settlement,” he added.