CASTILLEJOS, ZAMBALES: The Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) refusal to issue the appointment of the vice mayor to take over as acting mayor has affected the operation of the town, including some 300 municipal workers who were unable to receive their salary.
The Manila Times was told by Bernardo Tiong, secretary to suspended mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez, that not only the salaries of the municipal employees were affected. Even the municipality’s regular expenditures, including social and medical services have been hampered by the dilemma.
“We can not even pay our utilities and we can’t even buy medicine for our indigents,” Tiong said.
He said the town’s municipal workers also failed to receive their salaries for this month.
The problem stemmed from the DILG’s suspension order against Dominguez based on the decision by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon on July 8, 2015.
The decision found Dominguez guilty of the case for Simple Neglect of Duty and penalized with three months suspension.
The suspension order, however, was not imposed until April 6, 2016 or barely a month before the recent elections.
On Oct. 9, 2015, another decision from the Office of the Ombudsman ordered, among others, the dismissal of the complaint against Dominguez on the ground of condonation.
Despite this dismissal which was released six months after, Dominguez chose to follow the DILG directive and allowed vice mayor and losing mayoral candidate Resty Viloria to assume the position starting May 5.
Viloria, according to Tiong, was able to perform most of the executive functions except releasing of payments and signing checks.
Tiong said the Land Bank of the Philippines, from which all municipal expenditures are drawn, could not get a certification from the DILG on Viloria’s appointment as acting mayor that has affected the financial status of Castillejos.