POZORRUBIO – The mayor here was suspended anew for 90 days effective Thursday Aug. 2, after serving a nine-month suspension that ended on May 28, for signing a marriage certificate of a couple but did not actually officiate their wedding.
Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Director James Fadrilan implemented in a letter dated August 1, 2018, the July 13, 2018 order of the Regional Trial Court-Branch 215, Quezon City Presiding Judge Rafael Hipolito suspending for 90 days Mayor Artemio Chan and Daniel Sarmiento Jr , the mayor’s senior administrative assistant, who were charged with violation of Section 3 (a) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
It may be recalled that the Ombudsman first dismissed Chan from office for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty , 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”.
Sarmiento Jr., a casual employee of the municipal government, who was the one who officiated the wedding of complainants, Ly-Ar Punzalan and Cherilyn Buyao, was also found “administratively liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and is meted the penalty nine-month suspension without pay from service”.
Vice Mayor Ernesto Go took over as mayor in August 25 last year.
But the Ombudsman later reduced the penalty of Chan from dismissal from service to six months suspension only.
Thus, Chan served his suspension from August 25, 2017 to February 26, 2018, covering the modified penalty from six months and one day suspension from office without pay.
Chan was also meted three months suspension without pay for another case of similar offense involving another couple in a case titled “Andy S. Dela Rosa, et. al. vs. Artemio Que Chan, et. al.”
Chan re-assumed his post on May 28 after serving as total of nine months suspension ordered by the Ombudsman.
Chan was also charged criminally at the Regional Trial Court Branch 215 in Quezon City for similar offense.
Both Chan and Sarmiento posted bail of P30, 000 each on May 25 for their criminal offense.
Chan served as mayor for six terms already here from 1998 to 2007 and 2010 to present. (With report from EFG)
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