OVER FAKE MARRIAGE
POZORRUBIO—The Ombudsman has reduced the penalty of a mayor here from dismissal from service to six-month suspension only for signing a marriage certificate of a couple but was not the one who solemnized their wedding rites.
The Ombudsman order for Mayor Artemio Chan was served Friday (Feb 9) by the legal officer of the regional office of the Department of Interior and Local Government, lawyer Joseph Apolonio, assisted by the provincial and municipal representatives of DILG Pangasinan and Pozorrubio respectively.
Last year, Chan was found “administratively liable for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty and is meted the penalty of dismissal from service, including perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and bar from taking civil service examination”, pursuant to Section 19, Administrative Order No. 07, as amended by Administrative Order No. 17 in relation to Section 25 of Republic Act No. 6770.
De Leon said Mayor Ernesto Go, who assumed the post vacated by Mayor Artemio Chan following an earlier Ombudsman decision dismissing the latter from service, has only three months left to continue serving as mayor. This, as another Ombudsman decision ordered the suspension of Chan for three months in another case of similar nature filed by a different complainant.
Go took over as mayor in August 25.
Sought for his reactions, Chan said he is thankful to God for answering his prayer.
“It is important that you allow God to decide. No matter how much connections you have, it’s still God’s decision that will prevail,” he said.
He said it was a great relief on his part and a big vindication.
Although he said there are other mayors doing what he was accused of, Chan said, “I have learned my lesson and perhaps I became an instrument for my fellow mayors not to allow a substitute to preside in a wedding ceremony in our behalf as mayor.
He said he spent the past six months on his business like being a dealer of San Miguel products, auto supply, cable television, gas station and poultry products.
He added he would spend more time for the Church and playing tennis to forget the pain of what he went through.
“But of course the thought lingers when I’m home supposedly to rest,” he said.
Chan was mayor for about 17 years here. (Eva Visperas)
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