MANILA — With the directive of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena on Wednesday announced to stepped down from his post as acting mayor and assumed his duties as the elected vice mayor of the city.
In the memorandum issued by DILG National Capital Region Director Renato Brion, Pena was asked to “act in accordance with the CA directive, without prejudice to available remedies including the petition for certiorari and prohibition earlier filed by this office before the Supreme Court and subject to any existing procedure or internal protocol of the DILG in terms of implementing such similar court directives.”
“Based sa direktiba na ibinaba po ng Ombudsman na idinaan po sa DILG, ako po ay sinabihan na bumalik po sa aking position bilang vice mayor po ng lungsod ng Makati,” said Pena, who is now returning to his original office, 21st floor of the main city hall building and noting that he received the memorandum from the DILG late Tuesday afternoon.
“Wala pong kinalaman ito doon sa petition ng Ombudsman sa Supreme Court so ito po ay isang direktiba na ibinatay doon sa pagtangkilik sa ibinabang writ of preliminary injuction ng CA (This has nothing to do with the Ombudsman’s petition to the Supreme Court so this is a directive based on the endorsed writ of preliminary injunction of the Court of Appeals),” said Pena, showing the order from the DILG, which stated that they needed to follow the Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued by the Court of Appeals Sixth Division recently.
Days after the Ombudsman’s order, the CA Sixth Division granted Mayor Jun Binay’s petition for a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against the suspension.
Despite the TRO, the DILG refused to re-install Binay, prompting the latter to file a contempt plea. Peña had also earlier been sworn in as acting mayor.
Last week, the CA issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the Ombudsman joint order preventively suspending Mayor Binay, which indefinitely extended the earlier TRO.
Pena’s first order on his return to the vice mayor post was signing the payroll and checks of about 150 employees and staff under the Sangguniang Panglungsod and Office of the Vice Mayor who were not able to receive their salary for the end of March because there was no signatory in their checks.
The city council said Pena refused to sign the payrolls and checks but the vice mayor explained that he was still acting mayor at the time and was not mandated to sign the said documents.
He added that he will proceed with his work as vice mayor and continue going around the two districts of Makati aboard his motorcycle to distribute medicines and other forms of assistance to residents.
For her part, Councilor Marie Alethea Casal-Uy said they were glad about Pena’s return and affected personnel and officials of the city can be able to get their delayed salaries.
“We are glad that he is back and it should be his priority to sign the payroll of our employees,” Uy said noting that if Pena heeded earlier, there should have been no salary problems.
The councilor added that their Committee on Rules will still convene to discuss the possible sanctions and penalties which could be given to Pena because of his absences from the council meetings for almost a month.