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7 Malolos councilors accused of absenteeism, neglect of duty

Seven councilors of Malolos City were accused of absenteeism and gross neglect of duty for holding their own sessions after a rift with Vice Mayor Noel Pineda, who presides over the body, according to reports.

Based on the complaint filed by Pineda with the Office of the Ombudsman last week, Councilors Niño Carlo Bautista, Francisco Castro, Kirk Louis Nicolas, Enrico Capule, Edgardo Domingo and Miguel Carlos Soto, and Association of Barangay Captain president Dionisio Mendoza allegedly refused to attend the council’s regular Monday sessions for a month.

A report in the Inquirer quoted from Pineda’s February 18 complaint, saying the absences were affecting “important ordinances and matters pending to be approved.”

But Domingo, in a social media post, argued that he and other members of the majority bloc had been attending the sessions after they were moved from Mondays to Thursdays by City Resolution 7, which the seven councilors approved.

This resolution amended the council’s internal rules of procedures, according to the report.

The report said the majority bloc was responsible for passing the city’s P1.4-billion budget for 2021 last month. But Pineda did not honor the budget approved on January 18 in a session led by Bautista, the report added.