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DOMINGO SARCOS, as Mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur petitioners vs HON.

RECARELO CASTILLO, Provincial Governor of Surigao del Sur & the Hon.
Provincial Board of Surigao del Sur respondents

Sarcos, an independent candidate, won in the 14 November 1967 elections, as
Mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur. Castillo charged Sarcos with misconduct and
dishonesty in office. Such act alleged constituted connivance with certain private
individuals, to cut and fell timber and selling of the timber cut, for own use and
benefit, within the communcal forest reserve of the municipality of Barobo, Surigao
del Sur, to the damage and prejudice of the public and the government.

As early as 18 April 196 there was already a charge under oath for abuse of official
power in consenting to and authorizing the violations of forestry laws was filed
against petitioner by Municipal Council of Barobo. It was on the basis of this
administrative complaint that the Castillo filed petition ordering the immediate
suspension of Sarcos from position as Mayor saying that the acts committed by
mayor Sarcos affects his official integrity, the petition was in accordance with the
Sec.5 of RA 5185- Decentralization Act of 1967.

WON Provincial Governor is vested power to order preventive suspension of Mayor
Sarcos under RA 5185

No. Castillo as governor lacks authority to order the preventive suspension of the
Petitioner, Sarcos. According to the Decentralization Act of 1967, particularly the
paragraph dealing with preventive suspension: "…The President, Provincial Board
and City or Municipality Council, as the case may be, shall hear and investigate the
truth or falsity if the charges within 1- days after receipt of such notice." It was the
former law Sec. 2188 of Rev. Adm. Code which gives power to the Governor to
order preventive suspension, however, it was already repealed by the
Decentralization Act of 1967.

The court was also lead to the suspicion that politics was a cause for the order by
Governor of the preventive suspension of the Mayor, being an independent
candidate thus of a different political persuasion.

The writs of certiorari and prohibition are then granted. The preventive suspension
order by Castillo is annulled and set aside. Mayor Sarcos to be reinstated to his

*The Decentralization Act, to which the decision in this case is based, amended /
repealed Sec. 2188, Rev. Adm. Code. The former law provides that the provicnicla
gorvernor, if the charge against a munucupola officaial was municipal official was
one affecting his official integrity, could order his preventive suspension. It was
repealed by the RA NO. 5185 Sec. 5 which provides that now it is the provincial
board which has been granted the power to order preventive suspension.