Bacolod: Guv grants ‘voluntary’ 6-month suspension

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Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson recently said that he granted the request of Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz and Executive Assistant II Chery Sheil Valenzuela for them to start serving the penalty of six months suspension, as ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Lacson said that he designated Atty. Alberto Nellas Jr. as acting Provincial Administrator, while still performing his duty as Provincial Legal Officer.

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended Diaz and Valenzuela for six months without pay for “conflict of interest” while engaging in the private practice of their profession during their incumbency in government.

In a letter to Gov. Lacson, Diaz and Valenzuela said “this voluntary service of suspension is in due respect and deference to the authority of the Office of Ombudsman,” without prejudice to the motion of reconsideration they had filed, as well as without the need of order to implement from the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Lacson said he is hoping that the Ombudsman’s decision on the suspension of Diaz and Valenzuela will be reversed.

Diaz said they have undertaken proactive measures to ensure the continuous and seamless operation of the Provincial Administrator’s Officer and the provincial government of Negros Occidental as a whole.

“We reached a consensus to prepare for the consequences of the suspension order and distribute the duties and responsibilities that are affected by this development. All departments are prepared and ready to perform, despite our absence,” he added.

Asked if the suspension of Diaz and Valenzuela will affect Capitol operations, Lacson said “I am confident that we will continue to function well, because of the system that we already have in place.” (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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