Sultan Kudarat

Sultan Kudarat governor suspends town mayor for more than a year

Rommel Rebollido

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Sultan Kudarat governor suspends town mayor for more than a year

SUPPORTERS. Supporters of Isulan Mayor Marites Pallasigue gather for a prayer-rally outside the town hall on June 14, 2023 after the Sultan Kudarat provincial board recommended her suspension. The mayor was ordered suspended on Monday, June 26, 2023.

Isulan municipal government

It is not the first time for Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Ali Mangudadatu to suspend Isulan Mayor Marites Pallasigue

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – The vice mayor of a town in Sultan Kudarat took his oath as acting mayor on Tuesday, April 23, weeks after the province’s governor suspended the municipality’s chief executive for more than a year.

Isulan Vice Mayor Arnold Armada took his oath as acting mayor four days after Mayor Marites Pallasigue received a March suspension order from Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Ali Mangudadatu. The governor suspended her for 15 months without pay.

The Pallasigues are known political foes of the Mangudadatus, a local political clan that opposed the mayor’s ticket in the 2022 elections.

It was not the first time for Mangudadatu to suspend Pallasigue based on complaints for alleged negligence, dereliction of duty, irregularities in duty, and conduct harmful to public service. In June 2023, the governor suspended her for 60 days based on the recommendation of the provincial board. 

With Armada assuming the post of the town mayor, Isulan Councilor Carlo Apiado also took his oath as acting vice mayor.

The period of suspension gives Pallasigue only a few days left in her term to serve when she returns to office in June 2025.

Mangudadatu’s Administrative Order No. 12-2024, suspending Pallasigue for the second time, was a penalty in connection with administrative cases filed against the mayor before the provincial board, said provincial administrator Jimmy Andang on Monday, April 22.

The provincial government said the 15-month suspension includes a penalty of six months for the initial offense in one administrative case, six months for a second offense in another case, and three months for a third case.

Upon the recommendation of the provincial board, Mangudadatu ordered the mayor’s suspension on March 25.

The suspensions will be served successively based on a resolution of the provincial board, Andang said.

The suspension order was received by the mayor’s office on Friday, April 19, according to Pallasigue’s husband Dominador, former mayor of Isulan, in a Facebook post.

On June 26, 2023,  Mangudadatu suspended Pallasigue for 60 days based on the recommendation of the provincial board which heard the three administrative cases filed that year by Armada, Apiado, town councilors Jenalyn Mejia, Moises Dolar, Marvin Dalanon, Darlene Lama, and several barangay chairpersons. 

In their complaints, they blamed Pallasigue for the delay in the construction of a new municipal hall building. They also alleged that she did not submit copies of her executive orders to the office of the provincial governor.

Clash of families

Pax Ali is the son of Governor Mariam Mangudadatu of Maguindanao del Sur in the Bangsamoro region and Suharto, the former governor of Sultan Kudarat, a province in the Soccsksargen region.

In 2019, the mayor’s husband was convicted of two counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan and sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison for each charge.

In a 13-page ruling issued on July 19, 2019, the 5th Division of the Sandiganbayan stated that Dominador failed to present compelling arguments in his appeal, affirming his guilt under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The charges against the ex-mayor were related to his decision to demote and dismiss Elias Segura Jr., the municipal planning and development coordinator, in 2007.

Interestingly, Segura ran for mayor of Isulan in the May 2022 elections, with Armada as his running mate, but they were defeated by the wife of Dominador.

Segura and Armada are part of the Kapamilya political alliance led by the Mangudadatus. –

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