Prov’l administrator to file MR on suspension order

Atty. Rayfrando Diaz*

Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said on Tuesday, June 4, that  he is filing  a motion for reconsideration to the Ombudsman’s  ruling  suspending him for six months without pay for  engaging in the private practice of law that was “in conflict interest” with  his job. 

Also suspended for the same period is Executive Assistant II Chery Sheil Valenzuela, Provincial Bids and Awards secretary. 

Diaz said the suspension order was received by his office on Friday and by him on Monday. 

“We are going to file a motion for reconsideration… because we did not act in conflict with the government or to the disadvantage of any local government,” he said. 

“We hope our side is also heard,” he said, adding that he has 10 days from receipt of the order to file his MR. 

If a motion for reconsideration is filed the suspension would be put on hold, Diaz said. 

However, with the way the case is being decided he will prepare for the worse, he said. 

He will respect Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson’s decision on how they will proceed with the suspension order, Diaz added. 

The complaint stemmed from their alleged failure to provide legal assistance or representation to  Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, in an expropriation case that the municipality filed with the Regional Trial Court of Himamaylan City. 

The complaint said it was in conflict of interest on the part of the respondents who appeared as counsel for JLL Agriculture and Development. 

Diaz said JLL Agriculture was his client before he joined the provincial government. 

While he joined the transition team of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Binalbagan expropriated the property of his client in the middle of a subdivision. As a compromise he presented  his client’s offer to instead give the Binalbagan government land on the side of the subdivision for free, Diaz said. 

The ombudsman cited his presence at the presentation of the compromise as conflict of interest, Diaz added.

Diaz said he was wrapping up his cases with his clients after joining government when the Binalbagan complaint was raised. 

He has not been engaged in the private practice of law anymore since he has a lot of work as provincial administrator, Diaz said.*

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