Puentevella respects Ramos' right to file case-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella said he respects the move of former City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Mary Jean Ramos who filed a complaint with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for constructive dismissal.
"That's her privilege. We respect that," Puentevella said.
Former Councilor Dindo Ramos, Mary Jean's husband who served as the legal counsel, questioned the act of Puentevella to transfer his wife to a demoted position.
He said, "We should not trample the right of our employees either rank and file or department head because they have an obligation to uphold the law. That is the Constitutional right of every civil servant to be given security of tenure.
"We, city officials especially the Mayor is even expected to uphold and respect the law," Ramos said.
City Administrator Rolando Villamor, on the other hand, said it is her right to file a case if she was aggrieved by the action of the mayor. She was not demoted or removed. The mayor just wanted somebody who can handle the Economic Enterprise especially that she is an accountant, so she can find means so that the city will have enough funds.
Ramos received a memorandum from Villamor last August 28, informing her of her transfer as department head of CPDO to one of the offices of the Economic Enterprise, which is a creation of a mere ordinance and not a department head position.
Ramos was appointed by the former Mayor Evelio Leonardia on February 16 as department head of the CPDO and her appointment was concurred by the City Council of Bacolod City. She was the former accountant of Victorias City for 14 years and was a recipient of various awards.
In her complaint, Ramos said that during Puentevella’s inaugural speech, he urged the people of Bacolod City to forget politics and join hands together for the betterment of the beloved city.
Ramos said the direction set by Puentevella turned out to be a mere lip-service as barely a week in office, he stripped Dr. Salome Binas from her position as City Health Officer and appointed Dr. Jovy Vergara as officer-in-charge. She said that aside from Biñas, almost all the appointees of the former mayor, who is his political rival, were relieved from their posts and officers-in-charge (OIC) were appointed in their stead.
Other career service officers who were relieved from their posts, in apparent disregard of the civil service laws, are Nelson Sedillo as head of the Department of Public Services, Brenda Burdeos – head of the City Cooperative; Stela Rose Rayos – Licensing Officer IV, of Permits and License Division; Marlou Amago – general foreman of the City Engineer’s Office; and Gilda Luisma – Human Resource Management, Ramos said.
Ramos said even the city treasurer Annabelle Badajos, who is an appointee of the Department of Finance (DOF), was not spared by Puentevella as he requested the DOF to relieve her as city treasurer, in his letter dated July 20. Fortunately for the city treasurer, the DOF stood with her. She said her transfer to “one of the offices of Economic Enterprise” is clearly illegal since it was done without due process of law.
Worst, simultaneous to the receipt of the memorandum for her transfer, is the issuance of the memorandum appointing her subordinate Ana Ma. Carmen Principe as the OIC of the CPDO, Ramos said.
Ramos' assignment to a mere office is a clear case of demotion as she was appointed as department head of the CPDO, a position which is created by a statute with defined and specific functions. Further, it resulted to diminution in salary and benefit as she will be deprived of her monthly Representation Allowance and Transportation Allowance (RATA) in the total amount of P17,000.00 a month.
Ramos said the memorandum for her relief came two days after her husband was interviewed in print and broadcast media regarding his view as author of the “Take Over Ordinance” which ran in conflict with the stand of the Mayor. She asked the CSC to direct the defendants to reinstate her to her previous position and pay her backwages, RATA and other benefits from the time of her dismissal up to her actual reinstatement, as well as pay moral damages of P500,000 and exemplary damages of P500,000.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 07, 2013.