ASINGAN—The acting mayor and acting vice mayor here have assumed office after the Department of Interior and Local Government served notice to the mayor and vice mayor to vacate their posts temporarily following their suspension without pay for one year.
Mayor Heidee Chua and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez were meted the penalty for placing their names and images in the town’s new ambulance.
Acting Mayor Joshua Viray and Acting Vice Mayor Mel Lopez have taken over the top two posts in the municipal government on Jan. 19 following the implementation of suspension of Mayor Chua and Vice Mayor Lopez.
They formally took their oath of office on Jan. 22 during the town’s Monday flag- raising ceremony before Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Emma Parajas of Tayug.
Acting Vice Mayor Lopez is the brother of the suspended vice mayor.
It will be recalled that decision of the Office of Ombudsman was received by the complainant, Municipal Councilor Evangeline Dorao last December directing the suspension of Chua and Lopez Jr. “for simple misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service and for violation of section 5 (a) of republic Act No. 6173 or the Code of Conduct on Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.”
The order also directed the secretary of the DILG to implement the decision immediately upon receipt of the copy.
Dorao said in her complaint-affidavit that presence of the names and images of respondents on the newly-acquired ambulance of the municipality constitutes a violation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular (DILG-MC) No. 2010-101 which bans the placing of names, initials, images or pictures of government officials in billboards and signage or on government programs, projects and property.”
Dorao described the assumption of the top two town officials as “a new beginning, a brand new start” for the town.
Viray promised to continue implementation of pending projects as he appealed for the town’s populace for support.
With each other’s support, we shall bring back the glory of Asingan and we will make Asingan great again,” the acting mayor said. (Eva Visperas)
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