Malacañang refers rap against Celso to DILG PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 12:10

The Office of the President has acted on the complaint filed by Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Prof. Mahmor Edding against Mayor Celso Lobregat for alleged abuse of authority.
Edding’s verified complaint was referred to Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

In an official letter to Sec. Robredo dated March 30, 2011, Assistant Executive Secretary Lynn Danao-Moreno referred Edding’s complaint for appropriate action relative to Lobregat’s designation as representative of Congressman Juan Edgardo Angara in the WMSU Board of Regents.

Edding, who sits as member of the WMSU-BOR representing the university’s Alumni Association, has questioned Lobregat’s participation in the affair of the board citing among others the latter’s presence in the WMSU-BOR is a violation of the Constitution as well Local Government Code particularly Section 60 (Abuse of Authority).

In his eight-page complaint, Edding alleged that there is no law that allows the mayor to sit as a member of the WMSU-BOR in representation of the head of theHouse Committee on Education which is being headed by Congressman Angara.

Edding further alleged that the appointment of Lobregat as the representative of Angara is incompatible with the office of the local chief executive and that the functions of the House Committee on Education are chiefly legislative.

Per records shown by Edding to newsmen yesterday appeared that Lobregat has received his honoraria (P5,000 per board meeting) for all the times he attended the WMSU-BOR meetings except the March 8, 2011 meeting.

“The payment of such additional compensation to the mayor is not authorized by any law or required by the primary functions of his office nor is it just and necessary,” Edding disclosed as he clarified that Lobregat’s designation can never be questioned if he only refuses to receive the honoraria from the time he sat down as WMSU-BOR.

In order to settle the issue once and for all, Mayor Lobregat sought the opinion of the DILG relative to his representation for and in behalf of Congressman Angara in the WMSU-BOR.

Robredo clearly states that Lobregat’s appointment does not violate Section 7, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution (disqualifying elective officials from being appointed or designated to any public office in whatever capacity) and Article 94 of RA 7160.

But while acting as representative of Congressman Angara in the WMSU-BOR’s special and regular meetings, DILG opinion prohibits Lobregat to receive any additional compensation.

Citing DILG opinion on the matter, Professor Edding sought to place Lobregat under preventive suspension to pave way for the possible conduct of investigation and if found culpable, an order must be issued disciplining the incumbent mayor.

“I just hope that DILG will consider the merits of my complaints for I am doing this only to correct things which I believe is a clear violation of existing laws,” Edding said. — Jimmy Villaflores