DILG Sec. Eduardo Año. INQUIRER.net file photo
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the suspension of Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua for alleged abuse of authority.
In a statement on Saturday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that its regional office in Legazpi City served on Friday the suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon imposed a preventive suspension of six months against Cua pending an investigation on the charges against him for alleged abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, dishonesty and grave misconduct, Año noted.
The suspension of the governor stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by a certain Rey Mendez before the Office of the Ombudsman against Cua and Bato Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez.
In his complaint, Mendez alleged that Cua allowed ER Construction, a firm owned by Mayor Rodriguez, to use a vacant lot owned by the province for free and without the proper authorization from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The Ombudsman, in its order, said that the “testimony of the complainant and the documents presented, which are indicative of strong evidence of guilt, at this stage, compel this office to grant the preventive suspension prayed for.”
“In addition, Cua’s continued stay in office pending the final disposition of this complaint may prejudice the case filed against him, more particularly witnesses and other documentary evidence that are still under their control,” the order added.
The Ombudsman, meanwhile, denied the prayer for preventive suspension against Rodriguez, the DILG said.
Año said he issued an order designating Vice Governor Sherley Abundo as acting governor. /jpv
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