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BONIFACIO, Misamis Occidental – Local police escorted suspended Mayor Samson Dumanjug from the municipality on Friday, June 23, after defying a 60-day suspension order for betraying public trust.
Dumanjug had to be brought in by the police because of the opposition of the provincial government to the 60-day preventive suspension of him and his wife, Vice Mayor Evelyn Dumanjug. Reports said that instead of evacuating as ordered, the couple barred entry to the Mayor’s Office, the Vice Mayor’s Office, and the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall.
According to Governor Henry S. Oaminal, Dumanjug and his wife are also reported to be occupying a place on the second floor of the municipality to live and sleep “as if it is their own private property.”
Oaminal also denied Dumanjug’s claims of political persecution, saying they were the results of “their own doing.”
“Who made the issue of graft and corruption? Who made the issue of delivering second-hand, overpriced, and underfixed items?,” said Oaminal.
The mayor couple was involved in overprice, single-bidder, and substandard procurement in the town of Bonifacio, causing some questionable procurement of equipment, so the Sangguniang Lungsod issued the suspension order.
In the evidentiary documents submitted to the Sanggunian, Dumanjug awarded Avantrac Heavy Machinery, a Cebu-based company, the supply of an Amphibious Excavator at a price of P29,995,000. However, it was later discovered that the actual market price of the excavator was only P17,892,000; the difference is more than 12 million pesos. He also awarded a supply contract to RDAK Transport Equipment for a Garbage Compactor Truck worth P7,495,495; but the market value, at P 2,850,000 was also inflated by P4.6 million.
Councilors Ricky R. Bulahan and Alberto A. Cuizon, the two highest-ranking members of the Sangguniang Bayan, will assume their duties as Acting Mayor and Acting Vice Mayor, while the Dumanjugs are suspended. Bulahan pointed out that after fulfilling the mandate to serve as Municipal Mayor, he must work in another building while Dumajug camped in the proper offices.
“When we received the order, we immediately worked to execute our function so that we do not delay in serving the public. However, we have to take half of the office of the Department of Interior and Local Government under the legislative building, because the Dumanjugs are occupying it properly,” said Bulahan.
According to Bonifacio police chief PMaj. Ritchel Sumagang, the suspended Mayor can be charged with violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for Resistance and Disobedience to a Person in Authority, as well as violation of Article 237 or Prolonging Performance of Duties and Powers.
“I hope that this sad situation will be resolved soon, so that our staff in the municipality of Bonifacio can continue to serve the people of Misamis without hindrance, and everyone can do their work effectively,” concluded Oaminal. pr
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