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La Castellana dad suspended 15 days

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Sangguniang Bayan of La Castellana in Negros Occidental has issued a suspension order of 15 days, without renumeration, against Councilor Donato Dumaguit, who was linked to a police recruitment scam, for incurring 13 days of unexplained absences during its regular and special sessions.

Dumaguit and a certain Mary June delos Santos are both  facing multiple counts of large scale estafa before the Negros Occidental Prosecutor’s Office, in connection with their alleged involvement in a P15 million police recruitment scam.

The suspension and imposition of P3,000 fines to Dumaguit was approved by the La Castellana Sangguniang Bayan during its regular session on November 18, according to Councilor Leonardo Bacquian, who chairs the  committee on Rules.

Bacquian disclosed that the municipal council has accorded Dumaguit due process, and exhausted all means to contact him, to no avail.

We have to take action on it, otherwise, we will be held liable for dereliction of duty, he stressed.

Dumaguit earlier expressed fears for his life after he was linked to a police recruitment scam, where about 43 police aspirants were victimized.

He and delos Santos were accused of mulcting money from the police aspirants, in exchange for a supposed assured slot in the PNP, which did not materialize.

The victims were asked to pay as much as P300,000 each.

Bacquian explained that the sanctions meted against Dumaguit were based on the internal rules and procedures of the La Castellana Sangguniang Bayan, “without prejudice to the filing of a case against him.”

He also revealed that all members of the municipal council voted for his expulsion from the Sangguniang Bayan.

While we can decide to sanction him, Bacquian said that only the court can issue an order to expel an elected official, and no longer the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, based on a case decided by the Supreme Court.

He added that they will be tapping the services of a municipal lawyer to file charges against Dumaguit.*

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