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Enforce suspension against Dapa mayor, DILG asked

By Roel N. Catoto, Managing Editor/Agusan-Surigao Enquirer
SURIGAO CITY—The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) should implement the suspension order against Dapa Mayor Peter P. Ruaya, lest the punishment meted out against the official would become moot and academic with the May elections only weeks away.
This was the gist of Warlita T. Cadag’s February 8 letter to the DILG, which oversees local officials and metes out disciplinary actions against them.
Cadag is a former barangay chairman in Dapa, Siargao Island, who filed a graft case against Mayor Ruaya his elder brother, former Dapa ABC President Dionisio P. Ruaya.
The case stemmed from a demolition of the old Association of Barangay Council Building (ABC) without an authority of the municipal council during Ruaya’s first term of office in 2007-2010.
The arbitrary demolition of the old government building, ordered by Ruaya and consented by his brother, effectively wasted taxpayers’ money, according to Cadag and 25 other complainants.
On September 24, 2012, the Sandigan Bayan issued a ruling suspending the Ruaya brothers from office for 90 days.
The suspension order has not been acted by the DILG as of this writing.
Cadag argued that the anti-graft court’s decision would be rendered futile if it is not enforced.
She pointed out that Ruaya, who is not seeking reelection, is stepping down from office on June.
Ruaya has opted not to comment on the issue when his side was sought by the Agusan-Surigao Enquirer.
Atty. Estrella Teresita C. Rosete, division clerk of court of Sandiganbayan First Division, said that the suspension order has not yet attained finality as Ruaya’s motion for reconsideration is pending before the anti-graft court and “assailed before the Supreme Court thorough petition for certiorari and prohibition.”
Ruaya initially filed a certificate of candidacy for a last term but December withdrew last December. He was substituted by his wife, Yulie Y. Ruaya.
Cadag said Ruaya is facing separate pending complaints before the Ombudsman and separate pending cases in the Sandiganbayan. (Roel N. Catoto/Agusan-Surigao Enquirer)

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