Equipment row issue laid to rest

The controversial heavy equipment which were used against Mayor Ipe Remollo as election issues are now moot, and are now laid to rest because they are fully operational after all.

City Councilors of all stripes appealed to the more than 1, 500 officials and employees in the Dumaguete City government to avoid being used as pawns by the politicians on legal and ethical grounds.

The reminder was made at the conclusion of the inquiry into the status and misuse of the controversial heavy equipment to degrade a certain candidate in the May 2016 election.

City Engineer Edwin Quirit confirmed that 2 of the 4 heavy equipment procured during the previous term of Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo were ordered to be put up in the city quadrangle last March 2016 with a banner that ascribed wrongdoing on the then candidate Remollo.

The 4 heavy equipment were purchased by the former Remollo administration more than a decade ago that were tagged to be not totally “brand new.” The courts eventually ruled them to be brand new. Ironically, 3 of them remain in running condition up to the present, needing only the usual maintenance repair caused by heavy duty.

It was alleged that former Vice-Mayor Woodrow Maquiling, called the city engineer’s office to bring the heavy equipment to the quadrangle and later followed up by former City Legal Officer Bimbo Lagahit. Maquiling eventually lost to Remollo.

Councilor Alan Gel Cordova and Joe Kenneth Arbas criticized the city engineers for executing the order of Maquiling, who is not part of the executive department. The duo did not even bother to ask for a written instruction as their cover should a controversy or possible legal action arises.

The city hall officials and employees are reminded that under civil service rules they are not supposed to participate in any partisan activity for doing so would expose them to suits and endanger their positions and cost them their jobs and livelihood.

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