Without memorandum receipts, provincial officials, including the governor, the vice governor and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, no longer have authority to possess or use the vehicles issued to their offices, Provincial Legal Officer Richard Inojo said.
This was after Board Member Rommel Erames said called “illegal” the executive order of Gov. Roel Degamo, ordering the confiscation of service vehicles issued to SP members.
Inojo said that if Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias, and Board Members Mariant Escano Villegas, Jessica Villanueva, Peve Ligan, Edmund Dy and Georgita Martinez believe the EO is illegal, they can bring the matter to court.
But for the provincial government, there is no need to file a case because it is very clear that the five Strada pick-ups and one Monterro Sports vehicle are owned by the province, and their custodian is the governor, Inojo said.
He challenged the SP members and Macias to use the vehicles in public if they believe the EO is illegal.
During the regular session Monday, the concerned officials arrived at the Capitol on private vehicles while Macias was riding a bicycle, to show that they’re not giving up the vehicles issued to them.
Erames claimed that the use of the vehicles is backed by a provincial ordinance that was passed and approved during the incumbency of Degamo as vice governor and presiding officer.
Inojo, however, said that the ordinance was passed and approved to justify the purchase of the vehicles to be used in monitoring and inspection of projects funded by their allocations that are similar to the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
They have no more projects to inspect, Inojo said so it is proper to recall and cancel the MR.
It was learned that Escano is using the white Strada pickup, with plate number SHT 365 without an issued MR. The Monterro Sports vehicle with Macias is supposed to be issued to the governor’s office, as the vehicle assigned to him is the white Strada, with plate no. SKL 182, that was used by defeated vice governor Jun Arnaiz. It is now being used by Mylene Jimenez of the Provincial Engineer’s Office.*JG