Thursday, May 22, 2014

Balolong Faces New Administrative Case

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URBIZTONDO – The beleaguered mayor of this Central Pangasinan town faces another preventive suspension case from the same complainant who charged him with administrative cases in years 2012 and 2013.
Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. faces the media  following
 his release from NBI custody. With him is his councilor-son Voltaire.
(Photo grabbed from the Philippine Star
Loida Cancino in a verified complaint, as a taxpayer and PhilHealth member, at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board) after this town’s Mayor Ernesto Balolong failed to remit  from the months of July to December 2013 and January to February 2014 the contributions to the PhilHealth of the personnel of the  local government here.
“Available records show that in the period of July to December 2013 and January to February 2014 deduction for PhilHealth contributions were made for the payrolls of the officials and employees of the local government unit of Urbiztondo in the total amount of P299, 950 that the municipal failed to remit to the PhilHealth,” stated on paragraph 6 of Cancino’s complaint affidavit that was dated May 15, 2014.
Cancino narrated in her complaint that even her contribution to PhilHealth was undermined as the mayor, as mandated by law, failed to pay the contribution.
The complainant showed the failure of the mayor to remit in a disbursement voucher she used as Annex “A” of her complaint.
Cancino, a former treasurer here who earned the ire of the mayor, stressed that deliberate failure of the respondent in not causing the remittance to the social health insurance the contribution deducted from the salaries of the complainant and other officials and employees of the Municipality of Urbiztondo, the benefit to which they may be entitled under the National Health Insurance Act, were suspended to their damage and prejudice.
“That considering the gravity of the offense, the probability of the respondent influencing the witness and the safety and integrity of the records and other evidences, the herein complainant hereby prays that the respondent be placed under preventive suspension pursuant to law”.
In 2012 and November 22, 2013 Balolong was sued by Cancino through an administrative case at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board) of Pangasinan.
The first administrative case in 2012 was about the P52.4 million loans negotiated, through a resolution of this town’s council, by the mayor with the Philippine National Bank who lent the sum to the town.
Cancino argued in her complaint that the loan was not covered by an appropriation ordinance and a review from the provincial board.
The second administrative case in November 22, 2013 was when Balolong signed into law an appropriation ordinance giving an allocation of P8, 441, 35.59 to PNB in August 2013 despite the rejection of the provincial board of the appropriation in this town’s 2013 budget as an amortization to the bank.

These two cases that each called for 60 days preventive suspension of Balolong were rejected by the Office of the President of the Philippines after Balolong appealed to it the decision of the provincial board that was signed into law by Governor Amado T. Espino.
Balolong, a party mate of President Benigno C. Aquino III is known to have a close ties with the latter.

He narrated in this paper before that he used to work in the security agency of President Aquino as one of its supervisors in the late 1980s.  

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