MISAMIS Oriental–The political opposition led by Vice Governor Jeremy Pelaez, of Misamis Oriental, wanted the 2019 Budget of the province to be expended retroactively, Provincial Attorney Neil Pacana said Monday.
Pacana, however, said that the proposal to “retroactively” disburse the 2019 Budget is no longer possible because there is already an approved 2020 Budget effective January 2020.
The regional trial court here issued a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the disbursement of the province’s approved 2020 Budget Ordinance effective June 29, 2020 until July 19, 2020.
In their motion for the issuance of the TRO, Pelaez and three other opposition provincial board members asked the court to stop the disbursement of the approved 2020 Budget Ordinance on the ground that the ordinance was not “posted” in conspicuous places to make it effective.
The RTC Branch 24 here the TRO, sending the provincial government in limbo at the time when the provincial government, is fighting against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic here.
Pelaez and his group argued that the provincial government could still spend, “retroactively,” the 2019 approved Budget so that the employees could still have their salaries and wages.
The provincial attorney, however, said that spending the 2019 Budget “retroactively” is no longer possible because the approved 2020 Budget has become effective since January 2020.
“Unless the court declares that the Ordinance approving the 2020 Budget of Misamis Oriental isunconstitutional, the provincial board would convene to approve an ordinance for the provincial government to retroactively spend the 2019 Budget,” Pacana said.
Pacana also questioned the propriety of approving the TRO without the provincial government given a chance to answer the petition as part of the court procedure.
“It is quite strange that the court granted the TRO in less than 24-hour when it was filed in the afternoon of June 26 (a Friday) without the provincial government knowing that about the case,” Pacana said.
He said that the approving Judge Vincent F.B. Rosales also “inhibited” from hearing the motion to lift the TRO because Rosales alleged that he was only a “pairing judge.”
It was learned that the regular presiding judge of Branch 24 was on leave.