Trinidad councilors face judge today-A A +A
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Valley councilor are up for courts today, Tuesday, as Regional Trial Court Branch 62 Executive Judge Danilo Camacho summoned the entire legislative body to appear before the courts.
Previously, Camacho ordered a 90-day preventive suspension on Vice Mayor Romeo Salda, presiding officer of the La Trinidad town council, and Councilors Jim Botiwey, Henry Kipas, Arthur Shontogan, Roderick Awingan, Horacio Ramos Jr., Estrella Adeban, Francis Lee, Von Tauli and Robert Namoro who on December 2010 declared journalist Jimmy Laking “persona non grata” for his alleged biased reporting at the more than 50-year-old Baguio Midland Courier regional weekly newspaper.
Camacho aimed not to paralyze the town council, thus the preventive suspension of the officials were set in three batches.
Councilors Botiwey, Awingan, and Lee will spend their three-month suspension first, then Councilors Kipas, Ramos Jr., and Tauli next and Vice Mayor Salda, Councilors Shontogan, Adeban, and Namoro last.
The scheme solved an earlier dilemma faced by the DILG and also the town if all the town legislators are suspended at the same time, totally paralyzing the town council.
The legislators were charged of violation of section 3(a) of Republic Act 3019 or the anti-graft practices law and now stand trial, the entire preventive suspension of the council is the first case in the Philippines where an entire legislative body was suspended.
The preventive suspension is a prelude to the actual decision of the court on the case of the Valley councilors, to which will make history anew.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 31, 2012.