BUTUAN CITY, Philippines - The Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Butuan has dismissed the administrative case filed against Barangay Obrero Kagawad Jimmy Besing allegedly for cutting two (2) coconut trees without the necessary permit from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). In a resolution passed by the Council recently, Besing was absolved on the basis that his action which is considered a “public performance” in cutting off the two (2) coconut trees in order to secure the safety of his constituents, who were allowed by the slaughterhouse Administrator to reside within the compound, can be “presumed to be regular and legally performed by a Public Officer.”
Besing, in his defense argued that some of his Barangay constituents requested him to cut the said coconut trees as it threatened their lives or any members of their family, which was supported by a letter request from those within the slaughterhouse compound near the alleged two (2) coconut trees. The resolution also cited that the “ignorance of the law excuses no one” principle applies only to criminal cases and not to Administrative cases as the Barangay Kagawads are not presumed to have known the law as the requirement for a person to become a Barangay Kagawad is only “must know how to read and write.” The Council also noted that there is already a case filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office for the alleged theft and violation of R.A. 8048 on the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995 against Kagawad Besing, where he can be punished or be penalized by virtue of the said special law. The Council also found that the complainants failed to introduce other evidences to hold respondent administratively liable.
The resolution was authored by Councilor Jaime M. Cembrano, Jr. the Chairman of the Committee on Good Government of the Sanggunian.