SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: Municipal officials of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, are asking for the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte for him to order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to launch a massive manhunt for the immediate arrest of their municipal mayor, Abubacar Maulana, who is now a fugitive from justice.
Municipal Councilor Amil Aliding Pangansayan, in a phone interview with The Manila Times, said his colleagues have officially informed the Office of the President that Maulana should be charged also with absenteeism since he is now in hiding and nowhere to be found.
Pangansayan, also an ex-officio member of Sultan Kudarat Provincial Board, cited a standing warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 of Sultan Kudarat presided by Judge Renato Gleyco.
Gleyco already issued a warrant of arrest against Maulana in connection with Criminal Case No. 4173 for violation of Republic Act 9516 (unlawful possession of explosives).
Pangansayan said the people of Palimbang are already fed up with the administration of Maulana, who is now on his 3rd and last term.
They are accusing the mayor of graft and corruption over their annual Internal Revenue Allotment of P220 million that they said is nowhere to be found.
“We don’t even have a municipal building, since our old municipal building and the annex building were both burned,” the ex-officio board member said.
He added that municipal employees are now squatting in their municipal hospital to the detriment of the sick seeking medical attention since the hospital could no longer operate in order to give way to the employees.
Pangansayan said the people are suspecting that Maulana is behind the burning of the two municipal buildings in order to cover up the alleged financial anomalies of the fugitive mayor.
He said a pending arson case against Maulana filed by the Bureau of Fire Protection is not yet resolved.
“l am calling on Mayor Abubacar Maulana to come out in the open and face the court to clear himself if he is not guilty of the accusation against him,” according to Pangansayan.
“Under the law, the flight of the suspect signifies one’s guilt,” he said.