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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 8, 2013
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Sayson reacts to ‘gag order’

The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas has directed Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson to explain why he had issued a gag order prohibiting the late Sanggunian Secretary Nilo Alejandrino to enter the premises of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, a press release from MKK, the party of his opponent for the mayoralty race, said.

An order received by Alejandrino’s family dated April 4 said acting Ombudsman director Euphemia Bacalso, signing for and on behalf of Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, Pelagio Apostol, has directed Sayson to explain his position on the complaint against him, docketed as OMB-V-A-12-0020-A, which stemmed from the November 25, 2011 Memorandum Order No. 62 he had issued.

Sayson said he has not yet received a copy of such order. He said he has not issued a gag order against Alejandrino.

It is standard operating procedure for a person, who has been suspended, not to be allowed to enter (his office) so he will not influence the investigation, Sayson said.

Sayson wrote the Sanggunian personnel, reminding them that Alejandrino is still under preventive suspension and, during the duration of such suspension, he is not allowed to enter his office and have access to all official records without his permission, the MKK press release said.

This is to prevent the possibility of exerting undue influence or pressure on the witnesses against him and/or tampering of documentary evidence on file with his office, it said.

The Civil Service Commission, on its August 9, 2012 decision, reversed the order of Sayson, which the CSC Board deemed illegal, the MKK release also said.

The camp of Sayson was directed by the Ombudsman to answer in 10 days, it added.*CGS

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