The Office of the Ombudsman, in a decision, has ordered the suspension of Mayor Rommel Arnado of Kauswagan town in Lanao del Norte and two of his security officers for six months without pay after they were found liable for alleged forcible entry and demolition of property in 2013.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ombudsman’s office said it found Arnado and his security officers–Roey Camanian and Lauro Diputado–guilty of grave abuse of authority equivalent to oppression.
“It appears that respondent Arnado as the municipal mayor, and respondents Camanian and Diputado, committed acts constitutive of oppression in the discharge of their respective functions. By means of threats, violence or intimidation and without legal authority, they prevent[ed]complainant and his family from enjoying their propert[y],” part of the decision said.
Upon investigation, the office found that members of the local police and Arnado forcibly entered and dismantled houses and property owned by Ibra Sambuat in Barangay Tacub without a demolition order.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman also found sufficient grounds to charge the respondents with grave coercion and malicious mischief—offenses punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
The matter is subject to a pending motion for reconsideration.