By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The La Castellana Sangguniang Bayan (SB) has unanimously voted to suspend Councilor Donato Dumaguit over his failure to attend the town council’s regular and special sessions.
Councilor Leonardo Bacquian said they held a special session on Monday, November 20, and approved Dumaguit’s 15-day suspension without renumeration.
Dumaguit has been absent from the town council since his name was implicated in the alleged Philippine National Police (PNP) recruitment scam in the town, which he denied involvement.
The SB also slapped a P3,000 fine against Dumaguit, as he committed a total of 13 unexplained absences from the regular and special sessions.
Bacquian added that the suspension was effective immediately.
“It is without prejudice to the filing of charges against him,” he said.
Bacquian said that while all of them voted for Dumaguit’s expulsion, it is only the court to officially order him to be expelled from the municipal council.
The SB will seek legal advice for the filing of appropriate charges against Dumaguit.
The town councilor went into hiding following his alleged involvement in the PNP recruitment scam in September of this year.
He claimed that he was only hiding as he uncovered an assassination plot against him.
Earlier, the Negros Occidental Provincial Legal Office (PLO) gave a legal opinion to La Castellana Mayor Rhumylla Mangilimutan over Dumaguit’s absence.
PLO head, Atty. Alberto Nellas, Jr. said Mangilimutan has several options, such as filing an administrative complaint against Dumaguit before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, referring to it through the SB’s internal rules.
Dumaguit is now facing charges for large-scale estafa with the alleged primary suspect, identified as Mary Jun delos Santos.
More than 40 victims sought assistance from the authorities after paying a significant amount of money in exchange for securing positions in the PNP./DGB, WDJ