COTABATO CITY: North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco on Saturday announced her 90-day suspension from office, which took effect on Friday, was only a temporary setback for her administration’s peace and governance initiatives.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday served Catamco a suspension order from the Ombudsman for a 2004 graft case while she was a private individual.
Catamco was elected North Cotabato representative in 2010 and was reelected twice before she won the May 13 gubernatorial race in North Cotabato. She defeated the then Mayor Roger Taliño of Carmen town.
Taliño is the father of incumbent North Cotabato Vice Gov. Emmylou Mendoza, who was governor of North Cotabato province from 2010 to June 30 this year.
“This is only a temporary setback. I’m saddened with this development. I know how my supporters feel about this suspension but we have to abide with the law. Our zeal to spread peace and development in the province will never be dampened. This is just a three-month suspension,” Catamco said.
The charges filed against Catamco in 2004 stemmed from the award by the municipal government of Poro, Cebu of a P5-million contract to Perzebros Co. without public bidding.
Catamco and her former husband Pompey Reyes owned Perzebros.
The contract was for the supply of 3,333 bottles of liquid fertilizer at P1,500 each.
The Commission on Audit said it was overpriced by P1,092 per bottle.
Poro Mayor Edgar Rama is the principal accused in the case.
The beleaguered provincial governor said she would continue with her peace and security programs for North Cotabato as soon as she had fully served the 90-day suspension from office.