SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/28 Feb) — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) should implement the suspension order against Dapa Mayor Peter P. Ruaya, or the punishment meted out against him becomes moot and academic with the May elections only weeks away.
This was the gist of former Dapa Councilor Warlita Cadag’s February 8 letter to the DILG, which overseas local officials and metes out disciplinary actions against them.
Now chair of Barangay 10 Poblacion in Dapa, Surigao del Norte, Cadag filed a graft case against Mayor Ruaya and his elder brother, former Association of Barangay Council (ABC) President Dionisio P. Ruaya.
The case stemmed from a demolition of the old ABC Building without an authority of the municipal council during Ruaya’s first term of office in 2007-2010. The arbitrary demolition of the old building in Dapa town ordered by Ruaya was a waste of taxpayers’ money, Cadag and 25 other complainants, said.
On September 24, 2012, the Sandiganbayan issued a ruling suspending the Ruaya brothers from office for 90 days.
The suspension order has not been acted upon by the DILG as of February 28.
Cadag, chair of the Association of Barangay Captains in 2004 to 2007, argued that the anti-graft court’s decision would be rendered futile if it is not enforced.
She said Ruaya, who is not seeking reelection, is stepping down from office on June 30.
Ruaya declined to comment on the issue when sought by MindaNews.
Atty. Estrella Teresita C. Rosete, division clerk of court of Sandiganbayan First Division, said the suspension order has not yet attained finality as Ruaya’s motion for reconsideration is pending before the anti-graft court and “assailed before the Supreme Court through petition for certiorari and prohibition.”
Ruaya initially filed a certificate of candidacy for a last term but withdrew it last December. He was substituted by his wife, Yulie, a school teacher.
Cadag said Ruaya is facing separate pending complaints before the Ombudsman and separate cases in Sandiganbayan. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)