Capitol to investigate Mayor Loot-A A +A
Saturday, October 9, 2010
DAANBANTAYAN Mayor Maria Luisa Loot will be investigated by the Capitol for not asking for permission from the Office of the Governor to leave for China.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said mayors are required to secure permission from the Office of the Governor for any travel outside the province.
She cited Section 96 of the Local Government Code, which states that provincial, city, municipal and barangay officials going on official travel should apply and secure a written permission from their local chief executives before departure. The application should also specify the reasons for the travel.
She said she could not recall approving any request from Loot for her recent travel.
She only remembers giving approval for the travel of Loot’s son, Provincial Board Member Sun Shimura, who went to the Office of the Governor to notify her of his travel plans.
Capitol consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda said he checked their records and there was no request for travel from the office of Loot.
He said under the Local Government Code, Loot could be reprimanded for being in China for one week without the approval of the governor.
“This is grounds for disciplinary action where she could be suspended,” Sepulveda said.
Sought for comment, Loot said she was able to file a leave last Sept. 13 and it was received by the Office of the Governor.
She said she sent her own Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer to submit it. Garcia was in Russia at that time.
“My DILG officer told me that it’s in the Local Government Code that if there’s no action within five days, the application is deemed approved,” Loot said.
The Local Government Code states that “should the local chief executive concerned fail to act upon such application within four working days from receipt thereof, it shall be deemed approved.”
Loot said it was a personal trip so the governor does not need to worry.
Shimura also said in a text message that he remembered his mother applied for a permit to leave the country but the governor was not around that time.
Garcia and Loot used to be allies.
Their relationship was strained when Loot did not participate in the Capitol-initiated Pasigarbo sa Sugbo but later asked for financial assistance for its Haladaya festival.
This angered Garcia.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 09, 2010.