Cagayan gov files complaint vs vice gov, 4 others over delayed budget
CAGAYAN, Philippines – Cagayan Governor Alvaro Antonio III confirmed on Friday, March 4, that he filed a complaint against his ally-turned-rival Vice Governor Leonides Fausto and 4 others over the “delayed” passage of the P1.9-billion provincial budget for 2016.
In a press briefing, Antonio said he accused Fausto, and provincial board members Vilmer Viloria, Romeo Garcia, Mila Lauigan, and Winocco Abraham of involving grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and abuse of authority before the Ombudsman.
Since the budget proposal was filed with the provincial board in October 2015, it had not been discussed by the board members, Antonio said.
“[I] filed a case in the Ombudsman against the people who are responsible of this criminal neglect and malicious delay in the passage of the proposed budget for the 2016,” Antonio said.
Lauigan, a lawyer and a local legislator from the 3rd district of Cagayan, is the chairman of the committee on finance and appropriation. The board is presided by the vice governor.
Governor Antonio said that the operations of the province had been “paralyzed” as an effect of the “continuous neglect” of the provincial board in approving the proposed 2016 budget.
He said that 45% of the budget is for wages and salaries of government workers and operations of departments; the remaining 55% is allotted for infrastructure and other projects.
Antonio, who is now on his 3rd and final term, complained that some of the road projects had been temporarily discontinued and personnel under job order contract face termination because of lack of funds.
He also said that part of the budget will be used to fund the effects of the prolonged dry spell in the province.
‘Politics, malicious delay’
Antonio described the 5 members of the provincial board as “personalities…with criminal intent and repercussions.”
He said of Fausto: “He’s arrogating unto himself the power of governor. He should wait first, if he wins [in the elections].”
Fausto, also on his final term as vice governor, is running for governor against Antonio’s daughter, Cristina, and Liberal Party stalwart Manuel Mamba.
‘Scrutiny, not delay’
Fausto said that the provincial board is not delaying the passage of the budget, and only scrutinizing the proposal.
In his privilege speech during the council session on Friday, February 26, Fausto belied Antonio's allegations.
“In fact, the way we scrutinize the budget shows how we are faithfully doing our jobs to protect the interest of the Cagayanos because we know that the P1.9 billion fund is not just a money of someone but a money of every citizen,” Fausto said in Filipino.
Fausto took exception to Antonio's accusation that he (Fausto) is too eager to become governor.
“Oh, come on, Mister Governor, is it this ridiculous? I remember very vividly that this is the position you promised me during our good times,” the vice governor said.
He also condemned Antonio for describing him and the 4 board members as having no brains. – Rappler.com