Local News: DILG Starts Probe on Admin Case Vs Mayor Filed by City Hall Employee
The preliminary conference and formal investigation by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) started yesterday on the administrative complaint filed by a city hall employee - Ma. Theresa Lozada, against Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
DILG Director II Jesus Doque IV has informed Ma. Teresa Lozada that the investigation will run until Thursday. He asked her to bring her counsel, witnesses and documentary evidence since postponement will not be entertained.
Lozada had accused Leon-ardia of being oppressive, fallacious and deceptive in his issuance of her detail/transfer order which she claimed was motivated by anger, hatred and resentment without justifiable cause and with malice to her good name and reputation into public contempt, shame and ridicule.
She was transferred to the General Services Office from her permanent position as Clerk II of the City Population Office, and later assigned to the Handumanan Public Cemetery as a common graveyard laborer effective February 4, 2011.
Lozada claimed that such transfer order is illegal and contrary to law as it caused the diminution of her rank and status from a permanent government employee and protected by the tenure of office in contravention with Civil Service laws, rules and regulations.
However, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan yesterday said that Lozada has been re-assigned to the City Population Office since May this year. If there was bad faith on the part of the Mayor, she would not have been re-assigned to her original designation.
Bayatan also said the preliminary conference of the DILG is expected. They will inform the DILG of the CSC decision that speaks nothing about malice or bad faith with regards to the complaint of Lozada since they provided them with the facts that speaks of her undesirable performance.
Bayatan also said, they informed the CSC of Lozada’s habitual tardiness and her discriminatory attitude toward public service.
He said that when she was assigned at the One-Stop-Shop at SM-Bacolod for about a year, where she dealt with businessmen, she did not complain. But when she was assigned to the Department of Public Services to cater to indigent persons especially on funeral and burial assistance, she complained."
Lozada said the only reason she thought pushed the Mayor to re-assign her was her appeal to his Office to release their productivity enhancement incentive last Dec. 14, 2010 on the request of her co-workers in the city government.
In her complaint, Lozada asked DILG to place the mayor under preventive suspension.
Bayatan said, aside from the complaint filed by Lozada with the Office of the President, she also filed a similar complaint with the Civil Service Commission. The Office of the President delegated the investigation to the DILG, he said.
Hence, Bayatan said they filed a case of forum shopping questioning the dual filing of the case. It turned out that Lozada’s case in the CSC is an identical or twin complaint. The CSC nevertheless, issued a decision ahead of the DILG, he added.
Bayatan said the CSC decision only said that since the maximum one year period had already lapsed, Lozada has to be transferred back to her original designation.
He said the CSC decision did not say her transfer was illegal but it respected the mayor’s prerogative to transfer or re-assign employees.*