Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Bataan mayor seeks TRO, supporters barricade town hall
By Ernie B. Esconde

Jan 11, 2018

ORION, Bataan -- Supporters of Mayor Antonio Raymundo of this town continued to barricade the municipal hall on the fifth day Thursday as the mayor waited for the decision of the Court of Appeals on his Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction regarding his suspension by the Ombudsman for nine months.

“Sinusuportahan namin si mayor kaya nandito kami (we are supporting the mayor so we are here),” Lina Enriquez said.

The middle-aged woman was one of those on standby since Friday at one of the tents and stage inside the plaza fronting the town hall.

Enriquez said they came to the municipal hall in the morning and left in the afternoon.

“Hindi namin alam kung hanggang kailan kami nandito (We do not know until when we will stay here),” she said.

Raymundo said he will exhaust all legal remedies like his filing a Motion for TRO and Injunction with the Appellate Court that was raffled last January 4.

“Naghihintay ako ng sasabihin ng CA at igagalang ko kung ano ang desisyon (I am waiting for what the CA will say and I will respect the decision),” the mayor said.

He said the municipal government went on with its regular official function.

“Employees are performing business transactions smoothly,“ said Raymundo who continued to hold office at the municipal hall.

The Ombudsman suspended the Orion mayor for nine months in an order signed by Ombudsman Conchita Morales on September 2017 based on a complaint filed by municipal budget officer Carmelita Waje.

Raymundo said he removed the budget officer from her post due to a case for alleged malversation.

The budget officer in turn charged the mayor for “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, Grave Abuse of Authority and Grave Misconduct and Gross Neglect of Duty.”

The Ombudsman found Raymundo guilty for Oppression, slapping the mayor with a nine-month suspension but dismissed the other cases.

“Nagtataka ako kung bakit ganoon ka-harsh ang ginawang penalty ng Ombudsman sa akin (I was surprised why the Ombudsman gave me such harsh penalty,” the mayor said.

The provincial office of the Department of Interior and Local Government tried but failed to serve the Ombudsman’s suspension order last Friday at the Orion town hall.

Enriquez said the municipal hall was peaceful last Friday.

“Wala namang gulo, nag-usap ng maayos,” the woman said.

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