Town council fails to oust colleague in PNP hiring mess

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Members of the La Castellana municipal council in Negros Occidental failed to muster the two-thirds votes to expel a colleague for a series of unexplained absences in their session.

Councilor Leonardo Bacquian, the committee on rules chairperson, told Daily Guardian on Wednesday that they were unable to vote on the expulsion of Councilor Donato “Natnat” Dumaguit.

Bacquian said they needed at least seven votes from the 10-member council.

Vice Mayor Alberto Nicor, who is supposed to preside, decided to relinquish his chair while Dumaguit and another councilor were absent.

With one of the remaining councilors acting as presiding officer, Bacquian said there were only six of them which is short of the two-thirds vote requirement.

Bacquian said they decided to hold a special session to pass a resolution recommending the expulsion of Dumaguit to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Earlier, Bacquian said the Provincial Legal Office 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 absences.


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