Bangued, Abra (December 8, 2018) – For allegedly faking an over a
million worth of a road project, Lagayan town mayor Jendricks Luna and
wife, vice-mayor Joy Chrisma, were suspended from their posts by the
Abra provincial board for six months.

Vice-governor Ronald Balao-as with 8 of the 9-member Abra provincial
board found the husband-wife tandem guilty of dishonesty and grave
misconduct in connection with a supposedly unfinished 1,740 meter
Bai-Nagba Road in Brgy. Ba-i, Lagayan worth P1,071.850 which Luna
reported as already concreted.

On August 6, this year, Sangunniang Bayan member Noel Cortez
complained before the Abra provincial board that the road project,
supposedly funded by the town’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), has
remained “a pebble and dirt road” despite Mayor Luna reporting it as
already completed.

Immediately, the Abra provincial board summoned Mayor Luna to disprove
SMB Cortez’s allegation and allowed him to undergo the usual “due
process”.

Luna, through his counsel, even asked the provincial board to “hands
off” from the investigation while insisting some sections of the road
were completed and no irregularity in the road construction project.

But the Abra provincial board ruled to ask Abra Gov. Jocelyn Bernos
administratively suspended the Lunas for three months so that they
cannot influence the probe conducted to ferret out the truth of SBM
Cortez’s complaint.

On September 11, Gov. Bernos placed the duo on preventive suspension
for 90 days.

The Luna’s maintained in their pleadings and answers to the provincial
board that the project was completed, even submitting photographs of a
concreted road.

But a verification of the Provincial Engineering Office’s inspectorate
team as requested by the provincial board found out that the road was
made of “earth road surface”.

The provincial board thus ruled, “respondent Jendricks Luna’s act of
making it appear that the subject project was complete but, in truth,
it was not even started is a blatant lie and a clear act of dishonesty
which warrants administrative penalty.”

Vice mayor Luna is likewise liable like her husband, the provincial
board said, because without her as presiding officer of the Lagayan
Sangunniang Bayan, the project and the funding would not have been
approved and with it, his husband, “was able to proceed with the
commission of his dishonest acts.”

The provincial government posted the ruling against the Lunas at the
latter’s gate on Friday morning.

Mayor Luna in a telephone conversation begged off to comment arguing
he has not read the contents of the decision.***Artemio A. Dumlao***