The hardest CESO

Oct 7-13, 2010


By Cha Monforte

Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy just hit the head of the nail when he declared that he would be giving definite and all-out support to the barangay officials who have been supporting him in the first place in the past elections. Tough talk of a tough city mayor. That’s just a quid pro quo. “It’s payback time!” he said without mincing words as he blasted that concept of law about the barangay election being a non-partisan political exercise. Such law cannot be inflexible. When a higher official says that he will personally support his barangay officials, no one and nothing can stop him. Such non-partisanship is so ideal in law but not in practice.

I got a chance to interview the city mayor last Tuesday, and I saw droves and groups of incumbent barangay officials and even the outsider barangay politicians visiting him early morning in his sprawling residence just to inform him that they are running for the October 25 barangay elections. In that cool morning, the mayor gave them warm reception as well as advices in straight-forward and straight-to-the-issue manner. We’ve long known of Mayor Cee O’s flair of cracking jokes and making labels out of issues of the day and in speaking out his mind, come what may. From where I sit, I confirmed that the mayor is such a so influential political kingpin.

There’s indeed true, good electoral air now. Davao del Norte’s Federation of Barangay Captains provincial president Demitrio Maligro raised a scenario that since he is already a third-termer barangay captain of Nanyo of Panabo City, he has to relinquish his current post by November to Maritess Timbol, Kapalong ABC president and wife of Mayor Edgardo Timbol, and chances are, his successor would stage a fight for FABC presidency versus Vincent Floirendo, barangay captain-imminent of Brgy. Adecor in Talikud Island, which is within  Kaputian District of the Island Garden of Samal. The Timbols are supporters of Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. Vincent is a sibling of Don Antonio Floirendo and younger brother of former Cong. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo, District 2 political kingpin. After the coming barangay polls and at the backdrop of the Floirendo-Del Rosario political competition since the 2007 polls, BM Demit said there might be intense fight for the FABC presidency by December. But he said there might also be a formidable FABC bet coming from Tagum City. He was evidently referring to Mayor Cee O’s bet. By that time, the governor would already reach home from his second visit to his son District 1 Congressman Anthony del Rosario in California. The governor earlier said that a completely healed Cong. AGR would be arriving in the province on or before December.

BLOGS AND BITS: Boardmember Alan Dujali did deliver his privilege speech last Monday’s session. But it was not about what the gallery watchers had still expected. It was about bananas- the closure of Iran’s market. It’s about going bananas (better not expect it).

The least that a councilor or boardmember can do is preside neatly in a committee he or she chairs, if he or she cannot come up a single piece of legislation. The other least is to raise his or her hand for the “I second the motion” if he or she cannot stand to raise a motion or to deliberate or make a point of clarification. A grandstanding to express one’s bragging rights during privilege hour is meaner than a perennial raising of hand for the “ I second the motion”. The latter, anyway, can be justified as simply a parcel of a lawmaking procedure, without which the legislative mill can’t continue running.

Davao del Norte senior Boardmember Shirley Belen Aala was in fuschia pink suit last Monday’s session when she presided as an OIC vice governor. OIC Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr once said that a good presiding officer should know when to bang his gavel to call for a recess whenever there’s something not good or is delaying the efficient running of the legislative mill. Well, BM Shi did call for recess  more than once last Monday and she, like VG Baby, knows when to bang the gavel.

Heard from Davao del Norte assistant district engineer (ADE) Liberato Tan that there’s an imminent reshuffle of district engineers (DE), which might affect DavNor DE Fernando Ongkiko, Jr. and Comval DE Silvino Cortez, Jr. He said that there’s a policy that DE should not overstay in office, that they have only to stay not more than five years. Both of the DEs are overstaying now. They can’t be blamed as previous Presidents allowed them to. ADE Tan said that anyway in Region XI he has not yet heard of a news about the transfer of DEs like what happened to the DEs of the DPWH engineering district offices in Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato and Luzon areas. Tan bared the info as if saying that ADEs like him are spared from PNoy’s reshuffling policy, which still has to impact locally. He added that he, having only Grade 22, cannot apply to the CESO Board to become CESO (Career Executive Service Officer), the requirement asked by PNoy for holders of top district and provincial positions. CESO can only be applied by those having the minimum of Grade 24 like the DE or an LGU department head or the head or assistant head of a national office. When he knew about the CESO policy of PNoy, he tried to apply but he was turned down by the CESO Board in Manila.

We heard that many regional and provincial top positions in Region XI have been made vacant by the CESO Board even when they are still occupied by the holdover non-CESO officials, like the PENRO of Comval, occupied at present by Adonis Glen Rico, a non-CESO, and the National Telecommunications Commission-XI regional director, occupied by Pastor Josue Go, also a non-CESO. Being declared vacant, their posts can now be applied by the CESOs.

It seems that Comval DepEd assistant division superintendent (ASDS) Antonio “Tony D” Delos Reyes would have a sweet time shopping around the region which of the declared vacant positions he would apply to since he just passed the second eligibility phase of becoming a CESO- the assessment phase made by the CESO Board. The first phase- passing the hardest written exams, and the second phase- the assessment by  a strict and intelligent panel of the CESO Board which intensely grills CESO passers to resolve, defend case studies on actual work conditions – form as the toughest nuts to crack being hardest phases in the four-phase CESO-making  process. The last two phases are just capacity-building and -honing trainings cum further validations. Many school principals and division supervisors and those having top positions did flung in CESO written exams, even while only a much few among the few CESO passers passed the second phase. Comval DepEd ASDS Tony D, to his merit and labor, is one among the latest select few who made it. Kodus to him. PNoy is rest assured of having a capable, articulate and intelligent SDS in Comval. (e-mail:



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