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DILG implements suspension order vs Punsalan; cites clearance from Comelec

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Department of the Interior and Local Government has implemented the suspension order of the Ombudsman against Mayor Abundio Punsalan Jr. and six other officials of San Simon town based on the clearance issued by Commission on Elections.

Punsalan earlier refused to receive an Ombudsman order suspending him and five other officials for six months for simple neglect of duty and simple misconduct in a reclassification of land in 2020.

Citing a Comelec Central Luzon legal opinion, Abundio packed his things and emptied his office of his personal belongings.

Abundio said the Comelec legal opinion banned the implementation of the Ombudsman order dated June 23, 2023.

The Comelec legal opinion, dated Sept. 11, was signed by Comelec director Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal.

The DILG, with Abundio’s refusal to receive the order, taped the suspension order onto the door leading to the Mayor’s Office.

The DILG swore in Councilor Ryan Velasquez as acting mayor.