By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Members of the Sangguniang Bayan (town council) of La Castellana Negros Occidental are set to vote on the ouster of their colleague who was implicated in the P15 million PNP recruitment scam controversy.
La Castellana councilor Leonardo Bacquian, chairman of the Committee on Rules, told Daily Guardian on Friday that the Provincial Legal Office has already answered their query on the case of councilor Donato “Natnat” Dumaguit who racked a series of unexplained absences in their regular and special sessions.
Bacquian said that the PLO cited the Local Government Code which provides that a member of the municipal council who commits at least three successive unexplained absences in the regular session can be expelled.
Section 50 of the LGC, which is the Internal Rules of Procedure of the municipal/ city council, states that “the discipline of members for disorderly behavior and absences without justifiable cause for four (4) consecutive sessions for which they may be censored, reprimanded or excluded from the session, suspended for not more than 60 days or expelled; provided that the penalty of suspension or expulsion shall require the concurrence of at least two/third votes of the Sanggunian members.”
Bacquian said the council passed a resolution seeking the legal opinion of the PLO on the case of Dumaguit who started skipping their sessions after more than 40 complainants accused him of mulcting money from them in exchange for an assured slot in the PNP that never materialized.
Bacquian said Dumaguit’s absences have adversely affected the function of the municipal council as his signature is needed on pertinent documents.
He reiterated that he and his colleagues have exhausted all procedures to afford Dumaguit due process.
Bacquian further said that practically all of them have tried to convince Dumaguit to show up in the council as they are more than willing to hear his side.
He also said that they have given him ample notice and time, but Dumaguit refused claiming that he fears for his life.
“We have no choice but to vote for his expulsion, we cannot allow that public service will be further hindered by his continued absences,” Bacquian said.