Less 5 councilors: Tinambac SB to continue working

By Paolo Gabriel D. Jamer


The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Tinambac, Camarines Sur will continue to function even with the dismissal from the service of five of its incumbent councilors as the required quorum will be counted based on remaining five members of the council, the SB presiding officer said.


Belyne Prades, Tinambac vice mayor and SB presiding officer, said they will continue to perform their jobs as SB members despite the dismissal from the service of five of incumbent councilors pursuant to the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) dated Sept. 6, 2021, which was released and received by the dismissed officials recently.


At the moment, the SB has two remaining elected councilors, two ex-officio members and Prades herself or a total of five members. Prades said that except for passage of ordinance involving the allocation of funds or those involving financial matters, which requires a 2/3 votes of all SB members, the council with a membership of five, can continue to legislate all other local ordinances.


The five dismissed incumbent councilors: June C. Barrion; Glenn F. Abiog; Giuseppe “Bobot” P. Prades; Jona A. Geronimo; and Veridiana “Diane” Cortan were found administratively liable for Grave Misconduct and Grave Abuse of Authority/Oppression. Two other former councilors, Celeste R. Delos Angeles and Oscar Brioso, received the same verdict.


The decision for case OMB-L-A-18-0297 was signed by Cornelio L. Somido, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon and approved by Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires. Penalties imposed on the dismissed officials include: Dismissal from service; Forfeiture of retirement benefits; Perpetual disqualification from holding public office; Cancellation of Civil Service eligibility; and they are barred from taking Civil Service examinations.


For the non-incumbents (Delos Angeles and Brioso), the penalty shall be converted into a fine in an amount equivalent to their respective salaries for one year.


Jose M. Balmeo Jr., Assistant Ombudsman, issued an implementation order last Nov. 12, 2021 instructing the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement this decision immediately upon receipt.


According to the implementation order, no legal remedies such as a motion for reconsideration or case review can delay the immediate implementation of the decision.


As a consequence of the decision, the five incumbent officials were stripped of their elective office in the Sangguniang Bayan. Political rivals believed they will be disqualified from the May 2022 elections. This will result in the Tuy-Prades’ Team One Tinambac having only three candidates for town councilor.


However, Prades, in a radio interview over dwOK-FM’s public affairs program hosted by Ronron Enon and Jef Pasobillo on Jan. 4, said that the dismissed officials will file a motion for reconsideration with the OMB. If denied, they will file an appeal with the Court of Appeals and up to the Supreme Court, if needed, relative to the penalties imposed on them.


She also said that based on the advice of their lawyers, the five officials penalized by the OMB can still run as the decision is not yet final.


The OMB’s decision adds to the long list of issues that the local government unit of Tinambac led by Mayor Ruel Brioso Tuy and Vice Mayor Belyne Prades currently face. Recently the Commission on Audit issued Notices of Suspension to the LGU amounting to P 98 million. These suspensions were as some transactions have no proper disbursement papers or liquidation.