City Council removes barangay chair

Councilor Dina Espina, lawyer and chair of the quasi-judicial body tasked to investigate the alleged fund mess, said the order took effect on January 12,  two days before  the election period started.

But Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco is hesitant to execute the order, saying this now falls within the election period.

“I have written the regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in (Southwestern Mindanao) and asked him of his opinion or comment on the order.  But since he has not yet responded to my query, I can’t execute the order,”  Gantuangco said.

Barangay Poblacion chair Joseph Biongan was ordered removed due to gross negligence, for causing the “dubious” withdrawal of 83 checks amounting to some P2.3 million funds.

Of the 83 checks, more than 60 had no supporting vouchers and 10 were pre-signed by Biongan, according to documents presented by the prosecution.

Of the 11 members of the quasi-judicial body, seven voted to remove Biongan,  three opted that the village chair be suspended until his term ends, and one voted for a 60-day suspension.

Espina, however, said Biongan can appeal the decision through a motion for reconsideration before the City Council or the Provincial Legislature. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)