“Our signatures are not forged, but different signatures” – Delola, Pono

May 26-June 1, 2011

Regarding nepotism issue at Davao Norte Capitol

The two provincial employees who were used as complainants to an Ombudsman complaint alleging nepotism charges involving two relatives of department heads in Davao del Norte Capitol have bared that their signatures were not forged but were different specimen to theirs.

The complaint letter, though evidently fictitious, has recently sparked a probe from the Office of the Ombudamsn for Mindanao.

In the joint letter notarized before City Prosecutor Noel Padilla Palma, legislative department employees Rhoderick C. Pono and Alex O. Delola “strongly denied ownership” of the complaint letter dated January 17, 2011 which had reached the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao.

“1. We did not  write the said letter; and 2. The signatures are not ours,” they stated.

“Honestly, we were shocked when Mr. Arizona Martin J. Boiser, of the Office of the Ombudsman, came to our office on the morning of May 6, 2011 to verify if said letter which we allegedly wrote was actually ours. We stated our denial before him due to the fact that we do not possess any information as contained in the letter. Further, our signatures are very far from that of the signatures on the lettter submitted (to Ombudsman’s) office.”

“It is very unfortunate that this matter came up this way. This is purely a desperate act of person/s who wants to advance their interests against somebody at the expense of other people,” Delola and Pono further stated.

The still unknown complaint letter writers raised a nepotism charge allegedly committed by members of the placement committee members when the reorganization in the Capitol took effect in 2009 and asked the Ombudsman to look into the circumstances of the appointments of  one Sonio Sanchez, brother of provincial general services officer (PGSO) Samson Sanchez, and of one Rowena Peligro, sister of late provincial administrator Rufo Peligro.

The still to be known letter writers stated “we” in their complaint letter was notarized on January 25,2011 by Atty. Marilou S. Timbol.

The Valley & City Chronicle has yet to reach Atty. Timbol for comment at presstime.

The letter writers said that Sonio Sanchez, who is now a division head of the PGS office, was “casual and new (employee) in the capitol prior to the reorganization” and Rowena Peligro, who is now the administrative officer of Carmen District Hospital, was surprising being the sister of the provincial administrator.

The letter writers said said that other provincial employees who are working for a long time in the Capitol like those working ten years already and had already masters or doctorate degrees “were not given ample opportunity to apply for higher positions during the reorganization.

They charged that Sonio Sanchez was a member of the placement committee which was also composed of PGSO Sanchez, late Peligro, human resource chief Monica Salido and others.

The unknown letter writers belabored to cite various provisions of law and circulars of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) prohibiting nepotism in government service and asked deputy Ombudsman for Mindano Humprey Monteroso to investigate motu propio adding that an investigation by the provincial government could lead to a “whitewash” and by the provincial CSC office, which “receives massive assistance from the local government”, “we cannot assume its partiality.”

Making initial probe, Atty. Arizona Martin Boiser, graft investigator 3 of the Davao City-based Ombudsman for Mindanao, earlier has asked the Capitol’s management in pursuant to Republic Act No. 6770 to furnish him copies of 201 files of Sonio Sanchez and Rowena Peligro, and copies of Merit Promotion Plan and the composition of the placement board at the time when the two were hired.

Delola’s name was earlier used by also unknown letter writer who complained to the Ombudsman about the alleged P4.2 worth of lechon procured by the late provincial administrator, a charge which the Commission on Audit team for the Capitol said to be non-existent as far as the official records since 2010 were concerned.

For that, Delola also executed a denial letter sworn and subscribed before provincial prosecurot Ruben Pasamonte.

Asked on why he had been used as a “usual complainant”, Delola said he did not know as he has “no any misgiving” to the Capitol management.

He said though that he suspects one working in the executive department who was so aggrieved then and wanted to deflect attention when the malicious text messages against Peligro and Sanchez over two years ago seemed to be pointing to “that one” as the source.

Delola is the current information technology chief of the Capitol’s legislative deparmment.

Nepotism rules are spelled down in Section 9, Rule XIII of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40 of 1998 which provides the “Revised Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Personnel Actions.”

The Rule states “No appointment in the national, provincial, city or municipal governments or any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government owned or controlled corporations with original charters shall be made in favor of relative or the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office or of the person exercising immediate supervision over the appointee.”

“Unless otherwise provided by law, the word “relative” and the members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either of consanguinity or of affinity,” CSC MC No. 40 clarifies.

The rule further stresses that “In the local government career service, the prohibition extends to the relatives of the appointing or recommending authority, within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.” (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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