(TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN) – The DILG Regional Office 02, through the Legal Unit, conducted the 3rd Annual Continuing Legal Education (ACLE) for DILG Field Officers and technical personnel on May 11-12, 2021.
Bannered under the SOLID GEAR (Solid Government through Effective and Attainable Reform) program, the 3rd ACLE continued in its end to strengthen the knowledge and enhance the capacities of the DILG Field Officers in carrying out their functions in the supervision of local government units across the region.
The Regional Office invited Atty. Cyril Casey Blanco, Regional Legal Officer of the DILG Region 08, Atty. Gina Wenceslao, Chief of the Appellate Division of the DILG’s Legal and Legislative Liaison, in representation of Atty. Cynthia Pulido, Chief of the Legal Research, Assistance and Legislative Liaison Service, and Atty. Ederlino Tabilas, Regional Election Director of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Region 2 as subject matter experts.
On the topic regarding jurisdiction, Atty. Cyril Blanco enumerated several grounds of the removal of an elective local official and further stressed that only the court has the authority to remove an erring official.
“Note that an elective official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated under Section 60 of the Local Government Code by order of the proper court”, Atty. Blanco said.
He also said that the failure to observe the levels of supervisory authority contributes to the distortion of accountability in LGUs.
Meanwhile, Atty. Gina Wenceslao of the DILG- LLIS and Atty. Ederlino Tabilas of the COMELEC Region 02 tackled the leave benefits and the overview and salient provisions in Election Laws, respectively.
Atty. Wenceslao highlighted the types of leave, leave benefits of Barangay Elective and Appointive Officials, and several DILG Legal Opinion supporting the same. Also, she cited Joint Circular No. 1, s. 2004 which governs the leave benefits of Barangay Officials.
She said that “on January 1, 1992, local elective officials shall be entitled to leave privileges as those enjoyed by appointive local officials, including accumulation and commutation thereof”.
Atty. Tabilas, on the other hand, stressed that the Commission on Elections is the principal government agency tasked by the Constitution to enforce and administer all laws and regulations concerning the conduct of regular and special elections.
On an important note, he said that the period of filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for the May 09, 2022 National and Local Elections are from October 1-8, 2021, including Saturday and Sunday.
Atty. Tabilas ended his discussion by stating that the COMELEC may enjoin the DILG to take appropriate action on the suspension of local government officials involved in the violation of election laws, and to appoint any local elective official as officers-in-charge in such areas.
The DILG Region 2 continues in its endeavor to empower the field officers, technical personnel and the whole of DILG and in bringing them forward to a more Matino, Mahusay, at Maaasahang officials in the realm of public service. (SOURCE: BK LEGAL RESEARCHER JANRO B. NARAG)