STO. DOMINGO, Nueva Ecija – This town has two mayors.
This developed as elected Vice Mayor Greg Andres vowed on Sunday to discharge functions of the chief executive despite the reinstatement of Mayor Imee De Guzman.
“By operation of law, I am still the legitimate mayor,” said Andres, adding he will make officials from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) answerable for “implementing an unlawful order.”
Andres maintained that the Ombudsman resolution that reversed an earlier guilty verdict on De Guzman cannot prevail over the “final and executory” ruling of the Court of Appeals as per CA GR SP No. 156650.
“May entry of judgment na, ibig sabihin jurisprudence na ito, tapos na ang kaso, wala ng MR (motion for reconsideration),” he stressed.
Records showed the appellate court declared as final and executory its denial on De Guzman’s appeal on Sept. 4, 2018 after she allegedly failed to file any motion of reconsideration against its Aug. 13, 2018 ruling.
De Guzman though obtained the reversal order dated January 21, 2019.
“We are talking here of the supremacy of law,” said Andres.
Andres described the reversal resolution as “immaterial, immature, null and void and unforceable.”
He also noted alleged flaws in the Ombudsman resolution which, he said, made it “further immaterial.”
“Paano nila (DILG) iimplementa ang isang order na mali mali,” he said.
Andres also described as overkill the deployment of some 100 policemen from the elite provincial mobile force company and local units during the implementation of De Guzman’s reinstatement.
He said he will sue DILG officers Loida Sennido, municipal local government officer; Renato Bernardino, provincial director; lawyer Jackie Paulino, regional legal officer; and Usec. Marivel Sacendoncillo, who signed the reinstatement order.
“Everybody will be liable criminally and administratively (in) entering government premises illegally and Imee De Guzman will also be held liable for usurpation of authority,” Andres said in a text message.
Bernardino said they were just following orders and ready to face its consequences.
De Guzman said her reinstatement is a vindication: “Lagi kong sinasabi sa aking mga kababayan, babalik ako at kaya ko silang tingnan ng mata sa mata.”
It can be recalled that Andres was installed as mayor in August last year after De Guzman was initially found by the Ombudsman guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to best interest of the service in August last year.
She filed an MR to the Ombudsman and an appeal to the CA which yielded different results.
Both running for mayors, Andres belongs to PDP-Laban while De Guzman to local party Unang Sigaw.