8 Makati barangay officials, including president, suspended for 90 days
Eight officials of Barangay Carmona, Makati, including its chairman, have been suspended for 90 days for failing to submit and adopt the barangay’s annual investment program and budget in 2019 and 2020, according to the local government unit (LGU) of Makati City.
The city government said the suspension order against barangay chairman Joselito Salvador, Sangguniang Barangay chairman, and Kagawads Jason Layug, Andres Chua, Jeffrey Sordan, Christopher Guerra, Rosalie Garcia, Maria Andrea Paula Vicente and Virgilio Guillermo would take effect in July. 4, 2021.
In a Makati City Council resolution, he said Barangay Carmona was operating on a replenished budget for two consecutive years, which deprived Carmona residents of much-needed services and benefits as no funds were available. available for the implementation of social programs and services.
Under a reconstituted budget, eligible expenses are limited to salaries and wages, essential operating expenses such as utilities and supplies, and legal and contractual obligations.
City Resolution 2021-027 noted strong evidence of guilt that Carmona’s Sangguniang Barangay failed to fulfill its obligation to enact its annual appropriation ordinance for 2019 and 2020, as required by the Code. local authorities of 1991 (Republic Law 7160).
“The adoption of the annual budget cannot be overstated as the operations of the barangay depend on the funds available for the services it provides on a daily basis,” said lawyer Cherry Canda-Melodias, director of the Ministry of the Interior and the Local government. (DILG) -Makati, in his commentary submitted to the city council.
Article 60 (c) of RA 7160 provides that an elected official may be sanctioned, suspended or removed from office for dishonesty, oppression, professional misconduct, gross negligence or dereliction of duty.
DILG-Makati, for now, will act as the guardian of the barangay during the 90-day suspension period.
The case stems from a complaint filed on May 7, 2021 by Reneil de Guzman, a resident of the said barangay, who accused the said officials of “gross negligence” for allegedly not submitting / promulgating the Annual Investment Program (AIP ) and the annual budget. of Barangay Carmona for the two calendar years 2019 and 2020.
DILG-Makati forwarded the verified complaint to the city council in accordance with Article 61 (C) of RA 7160, which states that “a complaint against any elected official of the barangay shall be brought before the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned. , the decision of which will be final and enforceable.
During the regular council session on May 12, 2021, the complaint was referred to the Laws, Rules and Ethics Committee and was subsequently filed under administrative file number 2021-002. On May 14, the respondents were informed of the complaint against them and were ordered to submit their verified response 15 days after receipt of the notice. Their consolidated verified response was submitted to the committee on May 28, 2021.
Following the hearings held on June 9 and 16, which the respondents attended, the Makati City Council issued its resolution recommending a 90-day suspension to the eight barangay officials.
The council resolution cited comments from key city officials, including La Liga ng mga Barangay Maribel Vitales, DILG-Makati director, city budget manager and city urban development manager. , supported by documentary evidence.
Vitales said in his comment that Barangay Carmona officials had ignored constant reminders issued by his office to Makati barangay officials about meeting budget requirements under the law.
Melodias pointed out that there had been a “flagrant and palpable” breach of an obligation on the part of barangay president Salvador and Sangguniang Barangay. The former failed to fulfill his duty as head of the local executive to prepare and submit the executive’s budget by the prescribed date, while the latter failed to fulfill Article 319 of RA 7160. This article provides that “at the end of the current financial year or before the year, the Sanggunien concerned approves, by ordinance, the annual budget of the local authority for the following financial year on the basis of the revenue and expenditure forecasts presented by the head of the local executive.
Article 63 (b) of RA 7160 states that the preventive stay can be imposed at any time after the joinder of the questions, when the proof of guilt is strong and given the seriousness of the offense, it is strong likely that the continued employment of the respondent could influence witnesses or pose a threat to the security and integrity of records and other evidence.
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