Town Mayor Arlene Torralba and husband Vice Mayor Tom Torralba of Badoc, Ilocos Norte were placed under 60-day preventive suspension effective last December 21 pending further investigation of the separate complaints filed against them before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Capitol officials said.
In a recent resolution, the provincial board said it recommended the two Badoc officials for preventive suspension in order not to influence the on-going investigation.
Gov. Imee Marcos approved the suspension order dated Dec. 18 for implementation.
Although both officials were not around at the town hall, the staff of the Provincial Legal Office, accompanied by provincial director PS/Supt. Albert Ocon, personally served the suspension order by posting copies of the order in front of the Mayor’s and Vice Mayor’s offices.
Report said earlier that no employee at the municipal hall was willing to receive the document.
SP records showed that Mayor Arlene Torralba was charged with abuse of authority for the construction of a kitchenette located at the town hall compound without the alleged approval of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Badoc.
On the other hand, Vice Mayor Tom Torralba is facing criminal charges for alleged illegal possession of firearms.
It was learned that the Torralbas had immediately sought the help of Malacanang to secure a stay order from the President in an effort to stop the implementation of their preventive suspension.
Under the law of succession, senior SB member Roman Torralba, cousin of Vice Mayor Torralba, automatically assumed office as acting mayor and SB member Alwyn Rubio as acting vice mayor. Rubio is running for vice mayor in this coming 2016 election.
S/Insp. Joseph Tayaban, town police chief, expressed optimism that peace and order shall prevail in the area amid the suspension of the two ranking municipal officials.
He hoped that there would be no political violence here especially that the town is placed under Comelec watch list in this coming 2016 polls. (tsg w/ broadcast media reports)