SO Gov. Hilario Davide III has finally replaced Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. as officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro)? He designated Rodel Bontuyan, Penro’s supervising environmental specialist, as the new chief.
But the governor said that the relief of Tribunalo had nothing to do with the issues confronting the latter but because his tenure as OIC already lapsed. He said that the chief of the Human Resource Development told him that under the Civil Service rules the tenure for OIC is only good for one year. Tribunalo replaced then Penro chief, Atty. Chad Estella, who was forced to resign following issues of corruption.
It’s good that the governor opened his mind on the dual positions held by Tribunalo, who is also chief of Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO). Now, Tribunalo can focus on disaster matters.
But if I were the governor, I would ask Tribunalo to file a leave of absence or resign in view of the allegations against him about accepting bribes and sexual harassment, with the complaint lodged by a Capitol female employee before the Provincial Women’s Council (PWC) headed by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale.
Tribunalo himself admitted that he received appliances--two air-conditioning units and a big flat TV screen--from unknown donor. My sources said that those appliances should been delivered to Tribunalo’s residence in Balamban but were mis-delivered to his office at the Capitol. Unya nabuking naman, di didto na lang gipagamit sa opisina.
I challenged Tribunalo to produce the acknowledgment receipts and the name of the donor but until now he cannot produce these and refused reveal the name of the donor.
Is Tribunalo liable for graft? Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act states that, “Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person from whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to section 13 of this Act.”
And Davide should have acted on Tribunalo’s case. The governor has projected himself before the public that he is an honest public official. Few years ago, he even hung a tarpaulin in front of the Capitol building that said, “This is a corruption free institution.” Yet he cannot even discipline his men like Tribunalo.
The sexual harassment case filed by a female employee detailed at the anti-illegal fishing task force is also a very serious case. But the governor, without listening to the side of the complainant or reading her affidavit, dismissed outright the complaint saying politics was behind it.
Poor girl. She was humiliated by Tribunalo and even insulted by the governor, who we perceive to be decent, religious and a family man. Had this happened to Davide’s female relatives, how would he react?
If Tribunalo has delicadeza, he should either file an indefinite leave of absence while these cases are being investigated or tender his resign to spare the Davide’s administration from further embarrassment. Didto sa Japan pa ni, nag-hara-kiri na ning mga tawhana. Pero dinhi sa ato magpabaga lang gihapon sa nawong.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 15, 2017.
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