CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- After serving his second suspension for another month and a day over grave misconduct, Mayor Dante Torres of Guagua town will report back to office on Monday, July 3.
This was confirmed by Torres during a radio interview, Friday, June 30.
The Office of the Ombudsman meted Torres a three-month administrative suspension for simple misconduct or violation of Article 171 (4) of the Revised Penal Code.
Torres reported back to work after the first suspension, but on February 1, 2016, complainant Juan Pring, also from Guagua town, filed before the Ombudsman another complaint for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty after Torres signed a marriage certificate, which he did not allegedly officiate.
With the second suspension served, Torres said he was eager to return to office as many of the projects for Guagua folks have been put on hold.
“Malungkot ako hindi dahil sa suspension pero naudlot ang projects para sa bayan. Ito kasi, personalan na. Me kaso pa, okay lang, huwag lang corruption dahil walang corruption sa Guagua (I am sad not because of the suspension but because the projects for the town were stopped. This is personal. There is even a case, and it's fine, but (good it's) not corruption because there is no corruption in Guagua). I have always advocated for good governance,” he said.
Torres said that he knows and understands the motive of his detractors.
“I know the motive behind it. Kakampi ko dati yan. (We were allies before) Nagpatulong ako (I asked help) for good governance. Kaya walang administrator dito sa Guagua. Ang sabi nila, tayo naman. Alam ko ang isasagot ko. (That is why there is no administrator in Guagua. They said, it's our turn. I know what I will reply too) It's because of service. Maraming vulnerable -- ang mga 4Ps for example. Kaya di tayo umaasenso because of ‘bayabas’ politics. (That's why we won't progress) What I told them was if you believe me, let us embrace good governance. Pero talagang may ambition ang iba (But others have their ambitions),” he said.
He added that there is much to do when he starts working again on Monday, like projects and programs for infrastructure, health, education, peace and order and solid waste management, among others.
“Maraming pera (There's a lot of money) earmarked for projects and programs. Before I left, may program ako para sa mga drug addict na magtayo ng isang bahay pagbabago (construct a house for change), sa peace and order, health, education. I heard na iyung isang doctor na inilagay ko sa mga barangay ay huminto, hindi ko alam bakit. So there will be much to do pagbalik natin (I heard that one of the doctors I assigned to the barrios already quit and I don't know why. There will be a lot of things to do when I get back),” said Torres.
To his detractors, Torres said: “Set aside differences. Maglaban tayo sa election (Let us fight during the election). You are trying to destroy me, pero hindi ko pinapansin (but I did not mind you). Ang labanan diyan pera, wala akong pambayad (The fight in that field is money and I don't have that). Magtrabaho na muna tayo (Let us work first). Anyway, this return to office is a fitting gift ngayong birth month ko,” said Torres, who will celebrate his birthday on July 27. (JTD)