DENR Ilocos Norte head, 7 others get 90-day preventive suspension

LAOAG CITY– The acting officer-in-charge of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Ilocos Norte, Victor Dabalos, and seven other employees are facing a 90-day preventive suspension in view of an alleged illegal land transaction involved in the acquisition of a housing project for DENR employees here.

DENR Regional Director Paquito Moreno Jr. confirmed this on Thursday in a telephone interview aired over the radio.

According to Moreno, Dabalos and some employees from the community, provincial and regional environment and natural resources office, who had direct involvement in the 2012 housing project were suspended to give way to a deeper administrative investigation of the DENR Central Office.

As a result, the DENR has issued a special order designating Land Management Officer III Sheila Camagon, Technical Services Division Chief, to assume post as the acting officer-in-charge pending the investigation.

As the OIC, Camagon has limited functions hence stakeholders in the province expect some delay in the issuance of permits and other government contracts and transactions from the said office until the three-month preventive suspension has been served.

Moreno clarified the suspension of the DENR employees is not a penalty but to allow a fair and just investigation of an administrative charge filed against them by the DENR Central Office during the time of former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez whose appointment was turned down by the Commission on Appointment recently.

As of this posting, the PENRO including its Human Resources and Management Office has declined to make any statement regarding the issue. PNA –