LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – He reported his various “libreng serbisyo (free services)” to the Oponganons in his first 100 days but another Oponganon filed a case against him seeking his suspension from office.
The complainant, Leo Mercado, Chan’s erstwhile “rival in barangay politics” filed a case in the Visayas Ombudsman over Chan’s appointment of lawyer Allan James Sayson as the city legal officer.
Sayson, however, is just an Executive Assistant lll but Mercado wanted Chan and Sayson suspended for alleged Usurpation of Authority and Usurpation of Official Function, Violation of the Civil Service Law, Grave Abuse of Authority and Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer, among others, as Sayson allegedly acted as city legal officer despite the lack of pertinent appointment and its concurrence of the Lapulapu City council.
Chan and Mercado’s rivalry started in 2013 when the latter’s wife Grace ran against Chan as Pajo Barangay Captain where the Mayor then succeded and was, in fact, Pajo barangay chair before he became the top man at city hall.
The Mercado’s then had the backing of former Congressman Arturo “Boy” Radaza, whom Chan defeated in the May 13, 2019 mayoralty race.
In his complaint, Mercado who said he is a taxpayer and concerned resident, claimed that Chan should be faulted for having Sayson as City Legal Officer despite his being a non-resident of the local government unit concerned and lack of years of practice as a lawyer citing Section 481 Article Xl of the Local Government Code of the Philippines (RA 7160).
The complaint received by the Ombudsman Visayas last September 27, 2019, stated among others that Sayson took the bar exams and became a lawyer in 2016 and hence his years of practice in the profession have not reached at least 5 years as the law required.
Sayson allegedly has been receiving Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) the complaint added and could not be so, adding, Sayson’s residency is questionable as the lawyer has even worked formerly with the Mandaue City government.
Claiming “the evidence of guilt is strong” against Chan and Sayson, Mercado prayed to the Ombudsman to placed the two under preventive suspension.
“Respondents should be held administratively liable for Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of Service. Pending the resolution of this case, Respondents Chan and Sayson should be placed under preventive suspension,” a portion of Mercado’s complaint read.
The complaint of Mercado came as Councilor Eduardo Cuizon, the president of the Association the Barangay Councils (ABC) was also not present in today’s historic event that marked the first 100 days in office of Chan.
Cuizon along with the majority of the ABC members earlier filed a case against Chan for the latter’s closure of the congressional office of Lapulapu City Congresswoman Paz Radaza claiming residents were deprived of assistance as Chan closed the office at the city hall.
Cuizon along with Councilor Rodulfo Potot did not attend the city council session where Chan gave his report to the city residents for his first 100 days citing his cliche, ” Atong ipaduol ang gobyerno sa Katawhan.”
Chan announced several free services; medical consultation at the Carajay district hospital, anti-rabies vaccine, P8,000 burial assistance, availment of Serbisyo Caravan (serving at least 2, 543 residents from 9 barangays), availment of electronic library (E-library), waiving of city hall fees for electrical connections, no fees for solemnity of marriage where newlywed couples could even have free “roasted pig (lechong baboy)” in their receptions.
Chan also mentioned about having a drug free city hall having axed from their work employees who have been found positive for using illegal drugs administered by the City of Lapulapu Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (CLOSAP).
The Mayor also announced that there will be a “Malasakit Center” soon as Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go committed to allot P5 million monthly while the Lapulapu City College will soon be having a free wifi connection, and will have a mini-hoopsdome.
The city scholars will also receive a yearly subsidy of P40,000 while the barangay tanods and the Lupong Tagapamayapa in every barangay will also receive an allowance.
Chan who promised to have a “business-friendly city” also pledged to have a socialized housing program where ” There will be no demolition without relocation”.
He also mulls having city-owned buses, provides street lighting to secluded areas and builds a public cemetery in Olango Island.
Chan who publicly recognized his wife Cindi King Chan from the audience went on to ask the city council members of their support to his administration as he needs the approval of the city’s supplemental budget where he plans to give P4, 000 for teachers, P3,500 for senior citizens and P2,000 for Persons with Disabilities this coming December.
Aside from Vice Mayor Celedonio Sitoy, only two of the 14 city council members are allies of Chan while the rest are identified with the camp of the Radaza’s.
“My personal appeal to you, the honorable members of the Sanggunian, Mam and Sirs, suportahi ko ninyo sa akong mga programa kon kini para sa kaayuhan sa kadaghanan ug babagi kon kini makadaot sa atung Dakbayan.
Wala koy laing tuyo kon dili sa tapos sa atung termino, mahinumduman kita sa atong mga nabuhat nga kaayuhan alang sa kinatibuk-an nga katawhang Oponganon,”
Chan said in the nearly filled up Hoopsdome in Barangay Gun-ob. Those in attendance were key business leaders, military and police officers including businessman Ephraim “Jun” Pelaez, a known critic of the Radaza’s.
Mayor Chan who spoke for about 1 hour and twenty minutes also read a congratulatory message from Sec. Adelino Sitoy of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) whose daughter Cordova Mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho was also spotted to have attended the occasion./AAJ