Talisay City College head won’t leave

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


TALISAY City College president Richel Bacaltos refuses to leave his post despite an executive order appointing Mandaue City College (MCC) dean Paulus Mariae Cañete as his replacement.

Bacaltos told reporters yesterday he is willing to relinquish his post to Cañete but only if Mayor Johnny de los Reyes can convince the college’s board of trustees to remove him as president.

In response to Bacaltos’ plea, de los Reyes said he plans to convene the board of trustees to discuss the matter. He is even willing to give Bacaltos a month to prepare for the transition.

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But Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, the mayor’s ally, said de los Reyes’ appointment of Cañete defies a city ordinance that mandates the creation of a search committee to pick the next college president.

He said it contradicts City Ordinance 2008-11.

“As chairman of the board of trustees, the mayor must convene the board and create a duly constituted search committee that will choose the next college president,” he said.

Sufficient documentation

The ordinance amends a 2004 ordinance that creates the TCC and its board of trustees.

Villarante said Canete’s appointment as acting TCC president was also illegal, since, based on the ordinance, the college can only hire a president that can render full-time service.

During a meeting with de los Reyes and Cañete yesterday, Bacaltos said he will not leave his post until the board orders him to do so.

Before the meeting, Bacaltos told reporters he is willing to be replaced as long as Cañete’s appointment is supported with sufficient documentation.

He said that while the board gave the mayor the power to choose the next TCC president, the decision to replace him will still depend on the board.

He asked the mayor to put everything in order by allowing the board to formally replace him with Cañete.

Illegal defiance

Bacaltos is confident that Cañete, who is a fellow academic, is willing to listen to his plea.

After the meeting, de los Reyes told reporters he plans to convene the board again to decide on Bacaltos’ fate.

The mayor said that during a meeting with the board last year, its members granted him the power to appoint Bacaltos’ replacement.

Based on the decision of the board, de los Reyes issued an executive order last Monday that appointed Cañete.

City Attorney Alfredo Sipalay, for his part, said Bacaltos’ defiance of the executive order is illegal.

“The mayor has the authority, not because he is the mayor but because he is the chairman of the board of trustees,” he said.

Cañete was known as a critic of the administration of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes after the MCC, which was originally under the City Government, was replaced with a school bearing the same name that the City organized.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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