By Christian Supnad
DOLORES, Abra — Malacañang has reversed the suspension order the Provincial Board has imposed on the mayor of this town in what appeared to be a politically-motivated case.
The order was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito W. Ochoa, Jr. on behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino III, granting the appeal of Mayor Robert Victor G. Seares, Jr. of this municipality to lift his 60-day suspension imposed by the Provincial Board for lack of merit.
Last March 31, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan came out with a resolution which gave Seares the penalty of 60 days suspension.
The case against Seares stemmed from a complaint filed by Carlito Turqueza, punong barangay of Poblacion, Dolores, and ousted president of the Municipal Liga ng mga Barangay and ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Dolores who apparently has an axe to grind against the mayor.
Last July, 2011, the Liga members voted unanimously to replace Turqueza with the league’s Vice-President Jessie Pilor after failing to attend Liga’s activities and other programs. Turqueza believed that Seares was behind his relief as ABC president.
Turqueza, after being downgraded to a mere vice president of the league, was no longer given his salary as ex-officio member of the SB for the month of July. This has prompted Turqueza to file a complaint against the members of the Municipal Liga before the Provincial Liga ng mga Barangay alleging that his removal as president is a violation of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Liga ng mga Barangay.
The Provincial Liga decided in favor of Turqueza and he was reinstated. However, the municipal treasurer refused to give his salary for July because the same had already been given to Pilor.
On August 24, 2010, the Municipal Liga came out with Resolution No. 3 reinstating Turqueza to his former position as Liga president. Seares in turn, issued a memorandum ordering the Municipal Treasurer Jessie Zapata to release his salary and other emoluments.
But on May 31, 2011, the SP issued a resolution finding the mayor guilty and imposed the suspension from office for 60 days as it ruled that respondent failed to rebut the allegations of the complainant.