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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, July 1, 2011
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Ombudsman-Visayas warns
vs. illegal use of gov’t time

Assistant Ombudsman for the Visayas  Virginia Santiago reiterated a warning to employees holding appointive positions against the unlawful use of government time and resources, and said the city legal officer of San Carlos City has been  suspended for violating  this rule.

Santiago, however, also said that legal officers of local government units may practice their profession after securingauthority from theirlocal chief executives.

For those in elective positions,councilors who are lawyers by profession, are allowedto practice only on  civil cases but  cannot appear in criminal cases, Santiago said.

In Dumaguete City, they are councilors Joe Kenneth Arbas, and Manny Arbon,  and Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova.

Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria said he will not allow the city legal officer, Neil Ray Lagahit, to practice his profession, because there are so many concerns the city is facing.

Santiago said each of the 20 lawyers in the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas is handling at least 200 cases, while six investigators handling unsigned complaints with no evidences, have at least 400 cases each pending, to be validated in Regions 6, 7, and 8.*JG

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