By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A lawyer who had been previously dismissed from the Negros Occidental Provincial Legal Office has filed a complaint against Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Based on a letter written by Atty. Ernie Magaspag and addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte dated December 9, he accused the governor of alleged abuse of authority, misconduct, gross negligence, and other administrative cases.
The problem allegedly stemmed over a delay in the payment of supplies by the provincial government of Negros Occidental with Magaspag claiming Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz as the one responsible for the payment of the suppliers.
Magaspag claimed that he lodged a complaint against Diaz on July 14, 2020, but the complaint was dismissed by Provincial Legal Officer Alberto Nellas Jr. on “flimsy grounds.”
Considering that Lacson is the highest official of the province, Magaspag has asked for a preventive suspension against him in order to protect the evidence and documents at hand.
Nellas said they have already replied to the complaint against the governor, pointing out that Magaspag had no supporting evidence that Lacson had committed any irregularities.
Nellas believes Magaspag was only retaliating after he was dismissed from the Office of the Governor, adding that the actions of the governor are transparent and in accordance with the law.
Diaz, meanwhile, dismissed Magaspag’s allegations, pointing out he does not disburse funds, as the treasurer disburses fund and any of her authorized bonded employees.
The provincial administrator also pointed out that under the Local Government Code, the treasurer cannot be a part of the Bids and Awards Committee along with the accountant because there should be checks and balances.
He further added the checks he signs are not related to the awards that are given by the Bids and Awards Committee, adding that he is only authorized to sign checks up to P200,000 when it comes to suppliers. He also does not issue checks when it comes to suppliers’ contracts that go through bidding and involve big amounts./DGB, WDJ