GOVERNOR Alfredo Maranon Jr. has issued his first Executive Order designating a hearing officer and investigating attorney who will handle administrative cases filed against appointed officials and employees of the Provincial Government.

Designated were lawyer Jona Villanueva-Rubica as hearing officer, and lawyers Ariel Cuaycong and Ernie Magaspag as investigating attorneys.

Provincial Legal Officer Jose Maria Valencia said the lawyers will handle the case filed by Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez against Provincial Accountant Merle Fortu. They will also recommend to the governor for approval the suspension of Fortu.

The suspension of Fortu will be out this week.

Valencia said there is a provision under the Civil Service Rule that says an employee who is charged for serious offense can be subject to preventive suspension.

Alvarez filed a complaint against Fortu for serious misconduct, gross disrespect of public officials, act unbecoming of a public official and insubordination.

The complaints stemmed from the alleged raising of the Fortu's voice during a meeting with the provincial officials led by Maranon and Alvarez.

The board members present during the meeting said Fortu showed disrespect for the governor and vice governor and even insulted them when she was asked about the "snail pace" processing of documents and payments at her office.

Marañon said they will choose who will temporarily replace Fortu while she is under preventive suspension.

Valencia assured that due process will be given to Fortu.

Marañon in his order stated that Section 87 of the local Government Code grants the provincial governor the power to impose the penalties on erring subordinate officials and employees under his jurisdiction. (TED)