Monday, December 24, 2012

Tension rise in Norzagaray, suspended mayor cling to post

Mayor Feliciano Legazpi

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan—Tension continue to grip this town as the suspended mayor continue to hold on to his post preventing his vice mayor to assume the position in acting capacity.

However, the vice mayor made assurance not to take hostile action noting that he want a peaceful turn over.

“We will not undertake a hostile action, dahil sinusunod ko lang ang inuutos ng batas,” said Vice Mayor Rogelio Santos who was supposed to assume the mayoral position in acting capacity last week following a six months suspension meted by the Ombudsman against Mayor Feliciano Legazpi.

Legazpi was suspended by the Ombudsman based on the charges of oppression and abuse of authority filed by Yolanda Ervas, the municipal budget officer of Norzagaray.

Santos said that residents of Norgaray are getting confused on who is the mayor of the said town.

This is due to the fact that Legazpi continue to stay in his office and claims that he is not suspended yet because the Ombudsman has not acted on his motion for reconsideration.
Acting Mayor Rogelio Santos

According to  Santos , the resolution of the Ombudsman is clear and it was echoed in the order issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Signed by Florida Dija, the DILG regional director, the order states that Legazpi is ”hereby directed to cease and desist from exercising the powers and performing the duties and responsibilities as Mayor of the Norzagaray, Bulacan.”

As elected vice mayor of Norzagaray,  Santos  was directed in the same order to temporarily assume the function of acting mayor while the suspension is in effect.

Santos  said that he issued a memorandum to all municipal department heads last week, asking them to report to him, but none followed.

The department head still heeds Legazpi who claims that the Ombudsman’s decision and the DILG order is not final and executory.

Legazpi also said that he did not personally received the order of the DILG regional director, instead, it was received by the municipal human resources officer who later returned the order to the DILG regional office.
Legazpi while performing his duties as mayor

In an interview, Legazpi insisted that  Santos ’ moves were premature and politically motivated.

However,  Santos  said he not politics in involved in his assumption as acting mayor.

He even said that he is not running for reelection as vice mayor.

“Kung  talagang gusto ko ang posisyon ninyo, dapat  sana  ay kumandidato akong mayor, pero ang kandidatura ko sa 2013 ay para konsehal lang,”  Santos  said and reiterated that he is just following the DILG order.

Santos  was first elected as municipal councilor in the 2004 elections when he ran under the banner of the Aksyon Demokratiko.

In 2007, Legazpi asked him to become his running mate and they won.  They were both reelected in 2010 for the same position. (Dino Balabo)