Sunday , May 27, 2018

Cagayan de Oro councilor calls vice mayor a ‘liar’

CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor Lordan Suan Thursday, April 21, called Vice Mayor Joaquin Raineir Uy a “liar,” saying the recommendation letter and the complaint affidavit sent to the latter's office were not submitted on the same day.

Suan said it is contrary to Uy's claim that both letters came on the same day and was a form of “blackmail.”

Suan showed a copy of his recommendation letter submitted to Uy’s office listing Suan’s job order (JO) employees, which included some members of his family.

The recommendation letter was received by Uy’s office on September 14, 2016. The complaint affidavit sent by Suan's then JO staff Eric Alcantara was received by the same office on March 29, 2017.

"See, he is a liar. We did not send those documents on the same day, it was only last year that I submitted the recommendation letter while the complaint letter was sent this year," he said.

Suan, who insists that he did not commit nepotism, said he will pursue a case against Uy, once he gets a copy of the list of names of job order employees of other city councilors, which he said, was hard to obtain despite it being a matter of public record.

Suan earlier claimed that former and incumbent councilors likewise practiced nepotism.

The City Human Resource Management Office (CHRMO) refused to release a copy of the job order employees under the legislative department.

But a reliable source said hiring other relatives or even family members have been a usual practice of public officials, particularly, city councilors.

The source, however, said this is the first time that a councilor has attempted to appoint one's mother or father as job order employee.

"It's actually legal because they are performing confidential functions, but never happened that parents are appointed," the source said.

Suan said he is considering on filing a complaint of grave abuse of discretion against Uy before the Office of the Ombudsman for not allowing the minority members of the city’s legislature to have their own JO workers.

Suan is chair of the blue ribbon committee, and is affiliated with the local political party Padayon Pilipino. He is also a member of the minority bloc of the Liberal Party-dominated City Council.

Both Suan and Uy are residents of the vote-rich Barangay Carmen in the city’s first congressional district.

It can be recalled that during the regular Council session on Monday, April 17, Uy had openly accused Suan of nepotism for supposedly hiring his relatives as his JO workers.

But Suan said technically he has not committed any wrongdoing since none of his kin have not been employed at the City Council as members of his staff.

“I have not committed any crime,” he said, adding that he has no idea why he was being singled out by Uy.

A neophyte legislator, Suan said he took heed of the advice of veteran city councilors who suggested that he hire as his staff his relatives since they could be trusted.

He said he acted in good faith and listed down his close relatives, including an uncle, his father and sister, and submitted it to Uy for approval last January.

Suan said what he did was just submit a list to Uy for approval but since the vice mayor turned it down, he could not be held liable for something that he did not commit in the first place.

In previous interviews, Uy said Suan may have “blackmailed” him as attached to her letter request was a complaint affidavit of Eric Alcantara, the councilor’s staff.

“Ang pinakauna nahitabo, nagsubmit sila gidungan nila ang recommendation letter sa JO employees pero at the same time, naka-attach pud didto ang complaint letter. Mura siya ug ni-appear as blackmail, unsa may imong bation, unsay ilang pagtuo tanan isubmit nila sa opisina good as approved na (What happened first, they submitted the recommendation to add Councilor Suan's JO employees but at the same time, they also attached a complaint letter. It appeared to me as blackmail, what would I feel, they think that whatever they submit in my office is good as approved?)” he said last Wednesday, April 19.

Suan assumed that since most of the city councilors have employed their kin as staff members, he said there was nothing wrong with hiring blood relations.

Without naming names, he said many of his peers at the City Council have been practicing this.

“They (councilors) are employing their children, their family. I should know because I know them personally. Many of them (JO workers) are my friends,” he said.

He said if there is someone who should be charged with nepotism, it’s the members of the City Council that have relatives under their employ.

He added that if he indeed has committed nepotism, then Uy should file a complaint against him.

At present, Suan said what he has is a City Government-appointed secretary, who has been doing all the paperwork for him.

He said he should have at least 11 more staff members, one casual worker and 10 JO employees for him to function effectively as a lawmaker.