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PIA Press Release
2006/10/17

DILG issues suspension order against Makati mayor

Quezon City (17 October) -- A suspension order has been served against Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay by the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) over allegations of corruption.

Also suspended were Binay’s Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and 16 councilors, not seven as posted earlier.

But Binay said he would continue to stay at city hall and demanded proof of the accusations against him, particularly on the issue of ghost employees.

Rodolfo Sacro Feraren, the National Capital Region director of the DILG, took over from Binay but said that he would rather be called the “city caretaker” rather than the acting mayor.

DILG undersecretary Wencelito Andanar delivered the suspension order early Tuesday.

Andanar said Binay had asked the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order even before the suspension was served in order to stay in his job. The court has yet to rule on the appeal.

Riot police were deployed around the city hall but later left after tensions subsided even though many protesters remained in front of city hall.

National Capital Region Chief Reynaldo Varilla said he has ordered the Southern Police District, which has jurisdiction over the Makati police, to recognize only orders from Feraren.

Feraren told a press conference he was confident that Binay would eventually give way.

"Mabuting tao siya [He is a good person] and he's also a friend of mine. I believe he would give way in due time," Feraren said.

Shortly before meeting the press, Feraren met with Vice Mayor Mercado, where a "gentleman's agreement" was reached.

"It was a meeting of minds. We agreed that we can all stay at city hall. They can come and they will go, but I will be signing all the papers," said Feraren.

Feraren said he'd rather be called the "city caretaker" than acting mayor.

When asked how the city would run with nearly all elected city officials suspended, Feraren said the appointments from the Office of the President would be arriving soon. (PIA) [top]

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