Surigao town mayor serves first of three-month suspension

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/05 April) — The mayor of Pilar town in Surigao del Norte has been out of office since March 6, following a suspension order issued by the anti-graft court.

Pilar town mayor Lucio Gonzales told MindaNews on Sunday that he stepped down from office when the suspension order was enforced by the Department of Interior and Local Government last March 6.

Sandigan Bayan ordered that the mayor be suspended for three months for violating Section 17 of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law.

The case began in 2007 when Victor Exupirancio B. Litirato, the Municipal Agriculture Officer of the town was stripped off his representation and travel allowance (RATA).

Litirato said he was demoted by the mayor when he got transferred to another office as municipal planning officer despite the fact he is capable to work and have no illness.

But Gonzales manifested that the reason why Litiratos RATA was taken out was because he was not working.

“Tanan nako gipahimo sa iyaha wala gihimo, mao nga wala nako siya hatagi og representations and travel allowance. Aside from that wala pod siyay mga travel para diha,” (Everything I asked him to do he didn’t do, so I did not give him RATA> Aside from that, he had no travels), Gonzales said.

Gonzales said they filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied.

The mayor said he will back in office on June 6 after serving the suspension order. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)