General Santos city treasurer Atty. Jose Gonzales has been barred from assuming office by a temporary restraining order (TRO) from 11th Judicial Regional Trial Court Branch 25 Judge Oscar Noel and Mayor Ronnel Rivera’s refusal to recognize Gon- zales’ appointment.
Rivera has issued memorandum warning residents against entering into any transaction with Gonzales in his capacity as city treasurer after the latter also issued a memorandum to all city treasurer office employees that he is already assuming his post.
Rodilon Lacap, the assistant city treasurer took over the position after the May 2013 election and his term was extended by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF).
Rivera slammed the BLGF for suspending Lacap on June 4, 2014. He begged his constituents to be patient and asked the bureau to appoint a new treasurer or lift Lacap’s suspension.
“I have the right to choose and recommend and endorse my trusted person as city treasurer but the previous administration of the AIM [Achievers with Integrity Movement] local political party of [former representative and city mayor Adelbert Antonino]still insists on put their choice for the position. Should they be allowed to put their people in the city government?” Rivera asked
The BLGF reportedly wanted to preside over the turnover ceremony.
Gonzales attempted to take over the position as city treasurer on May 6, 2014 but was prevented by Rivera who called for a closed-door conference with all city hall department heads and told them the TRO has suspended operations.
The city treasurer’s office has postponed serving taxpayers acquiring business permits, licenses, the required Social Security System documentation and other official transactions until BFLG names a new city treasurer.
Local businessmen are clamoring for a speedy resolution of the impasse.
Gonzales is a member of the AIM, a local political party founded by Antonino, father of another ex-city mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio who lost to Rivera in the 2013 mayoral elections.