ANGELES CITY -- The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon has junked the motion for preventive suspension filed against Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno for lack of merit.

The issue stemmed from the submission of the Executive Budget for 2008 to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Regional Office upon the approval of DBM Regional Director Eisa D. Salon.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting had accused Nepomuceno of having submitted the Executive Budget to the DBM “without the required transmittal or endorsement of the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.”

The complainant’s motion to have Nepomuceno placed under preventive suspension is anchored on the claim that the local executive would “use his office to influence potential witnesses and to tamper or destroy records and documents.”

The approved order by Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez noted that “there is nothing in the record to suggest that the continued stay in office of the respondent (Nepomuceno) might prejudice the investigation of the instant case. There is likewise no imminent showing that pertinent documents are being tampered or suppressed by the respondent or that witnesses for the complainant are being harassed by him.”

The Ombudman’s order further states: “The request for the preventive suspension of respondent Francis “Blueboy” L. Nepomuceno is hereby denied for lack of merit.”

The Ombudsman noted that “records failed to reveal the presence of evidence that would preliminary indicate that the guilt of the respondent for the charges against him is strong.”

“Although there is evident showing that the respondent submitted the City’s Executive Budget to the DBM Regional Office without the endorsement or transmittal thereof by the Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the alleged misrepresentation as to the approval of the Budget Ordinance has not been clearly established,” the order stated.

The Ombudsman added that the respondent’s “imputed act may not be considered a grave offense that would warrant his dismissal from the service”. (PR)