Vol. XX No. 42

December 27, 2000

Virac, Catanduanes


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Headline News



Local DILG rebuffs Sollegue

Sec. Lim unaware of court decision?

A junior lawyer allegedly drafted the Dec. 8 letter of DILG Secretary Alfredo S. Lim urging the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to recognize Jenor L. Sollegue as Sangguniang Kabataan provincial federation president, with Sec. Lim possibly unaware that the Regional Trial Court has issued a ruling on the controversy.

This was learned last week even as the provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government denied Sollegue's request for a certification that he is the SKPF president.

The San Andres SK municipal federation chairman reportedly requested DILG provincial director Orlando L. Mendoza to issue the former a certification so that he will be allowed to draw his salary as ex-officio provincial board member pursuant to Sec. Lim's letter.

However, Mendoza denied Sollegue's appeal, saying that even his office, nor the regional office in Legaspi City, was furnished a copy of the Lim letter. He reportedly said that acceding to Sollegue's request would have the DILG run afoul of Regional Trial Court, which recently issued a Writ of Execution directing the SP to allow recall election victor Remelito Cabrera of Panganiban to sit as SKPF representative in the board.

Sources say that the Lim endorsement of Sollegue based on the disputed SK National Executive Board (NEB) decision nullifying the May 31 recall results contradicts an earlier pronouncement of the DILG top honcho, who certified short after the recall that Cabrera needed no confirmation from SK-NEB prior to taking his seat at the board.

The sources claimed that the DILG regional office checked with the Legal Division in Manila and found out that an unidentified junior lawyer drafted the letter for Sec. Lim's signature. They added that the lawyer handling the case, a certain Atty. Jun Moreno, was on leave at the time.

The letter, addressed to the provincial board thru the presiding officer, referred to the Aug. 16-18, 2000 resolution of SK-NEB which nullified the recall election and reinstated Sollegue to the SP seat.

Lim said that "in deference to the SK NEB Resolution issued pursuant to its exercise of overall supervision over all the lower federations (Sec. 2[5], Art. V of the 1997 SK Constitution and By-Laws) and of the fact that the Department is mandated by law to extend technical assistance to the leagues of LGUs and federations of other local officials upon request (Art. 216 of the IRR of RA 7160), that Sanggunian is hereby enjoined to give due respect to the above-cited Resolution and accordingly recognize Jenor L. Sollegue, as SK Provincial Federation President to sit as ex-officio member thereat vice Remelito Cabrera."

Apart from the provincial board, only Sollegue was furnished a copy of the letter, raising eyebrows among officials at the DILG provincial and regional offices.

Cabrera's counsel has written Sec. Lim of the RTC Judge Nilo B. Barsaga's recent decision on the controversy, informing the DILG chief that the said Resolution of SK-NEB was already declared null and void by the court.

In his Oct. 16 Order issued in Special Civil Action No. 1936, Judge Barsaga had noted that the Resolution was based on a Memorandum of Agreementy with the DILG which was approved on June 28, 2000, or exactly 28 days after the May 31, 2000 recall elections conducted by the DILG provincial officer of Catanduanes. "The SK NEB failed to cite the fact that the rules applicable during the questioned recall elections was the Constitution and By-Laws of the Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation...as the Memorandum of Agreement was only approved on June 28, 2000," Barsaga stressed.

Their brash defiance of the RTC order has earned Vice Gov. Alfred M. Aquino, PBMs Catalino Gabao, Jr., Evelyn Gutierrez, Carlos Aguilar and Lilia Evangelista, and ousted SKPF president Sollegue another case in court, this time for criminal contempt. Also haled to court for the same offense was alleged publisher-editor Rey Lacurom of the Catanduanes Forum, which published in its Nov. 16-22 issue Aquino's statement that the writ issued by the court is illegal.


Copyright 2000 The Catanduanes Tribune