TACLOBAN CITY-The vice mayor of Calbiga town in Samar was found guilty of usurpation of authority or official function by the Office of the Ombudsman when he assumed the office of municipal mayor.
Found guilty by the Ombudsman was Vice Mayor David Bacsal who assumed the post of mayor when the then sitting mayor, Nicasio Abaigar, tendered his resignation on October 11,2013, the same day Bacsal assumed the post.
While he was proclaimed by the municipal board of elections inspectors to have garnered the highest number of votes during the May 2013 polls for the mayoralty post, Abaigar was forced to tender his “resignation” before Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan citing of his need to secure medical attention in the United States.
Last August 13, 2013, the Supreme Court dismissed Abaigar’s motion for reconsideration on the February 5,2013 en banc decision of the Commission on Elections cancelling his certificate of candidacy during the May,2013 elections due to “false material representation” like giving wrong date of his birthday, residence address when it was found out he was an “actual resident” of California of the United States.
The Comelec proclaimed Melchor Nacario, who as then seeking for his second term, as the duly elected mayor of Calbiga, paving the way for his assumption into office on October 14, 2013.
But Bacsal was said to have issued several orders like mayor’s permit and office memoranda signing as mayor of the town on Oct. 16.
Nacario filed the case against Bacsal on November 11,2013 before the Ombudsman based in Cebu.
“Having been proclaimed and taken oath, complainant (Nacario) was now the duly elected mayor of Calbiga. Thus respondent’s issuance of Executive Order Number 7 dated October 16,2013,office memoranda and mayor’s permit, after complainant’s proclamation on October 14,2013,where he signed as municipal mayor constitutes usurpation of the mayoralty post,” the seven-page Ombudsman decision issued on June 23,2014.
The act, the Ombudsman said, is punishable under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Ombudsman’s decision was signed by Katherine Genovesa, graft investigation and prosecution officer I, and approved by Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol.
Bacsal, reached for his comment, said that he believed that he did not commit any wrongdoing considering that when he assumed the post, there was no order yet from the Department of the Interior and Local Government for him to step down.
The order from the DILG for him to return to his post as vice mayor came on March or six months after he started discharging the functions of the office of the mayor.