By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki, April 10 2019; Manila Bulletin

Image Credit to Manila Bulletin

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has ordered the 90-day preventive suspension of Dumanjug, Cebu, Mayor Efren Guntrano Zozobrado Gica due to pending criminal charges in relation to the anomalous expenditures for a conference in 2014.

Gica is facing charges of graft, falsification of public documents and malversation of public funds.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was then directed to show cause within 10 days why he should not be suspended pedente lite, as required by Section 13 of R.A. 3019.

The deadline passed without Gica giving a reply, prompting the Sandiganbayan to proceed with his suspension.

“Consistent with the rule that preventive suspension may not exceed 90 days pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 807 (the Civil Service Decree), now Section 52 of the Administrative Code of 1987, the Court holds that the suspension pedente lite on Gica for a period of 90 days is proper,” the resolution read.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary has been directed to implement the suspension.

The four-page resolution was penned by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz with the concurrence of Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto.