Jose Daluz III, chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), has been accused by the government-owned utility provider employees’ union of manipulating the selection to give favor to Floro Casas Jr., a lawyer who also served as city administrator to the late Cebu City mayor Edgardo Labella.

Daluz, also a lawyer, denied the union’s allegation, but he admitted he personally prefers the nomination of Casas to become MCWD’s new assistant general manager.

Casas and Daluz are friends—the former serves as chairman of Partido Panaghiusa, a local political party of which the latter is the current president.

According to the MCWD chairman, only the general manager, Stephen Yee, has the power to appoint someone to become the new assistant general manager.

Daluz said the duty of members of the board of directors (BOD) is to approve or deny the appointment.

The water distributor’s current BOD is composed of Daluz, vice chairman and SunStar Cebu columnist Francisco “Frank” Malilong Jr., secretary Miguelito Pato and members Manolette Dinsay and Jodelyn May Seno.

MCWD Employees’ Union president Abigail Almeria said the selection process for the new assistant general manager should have been completed last January.

If this is true, then the eight-month wait to fill in the vacancy is definitely long. The MCWD board must explain this now that the issue is out in the public.

Casas, who has been mum on the matter, reportedly applied for the vacant position when the MCWD board reopened the selection process last July, a move that surprised the union leadership and its members.

Daluz knows that his friendship with Casas is an open secret.

To avoid doubts about the application of Casas, who is an MCWD outsider, he could have advised his friend to withdraw his application.

Almeria said there were four applicants who were all incumbent MCWD officials, and she asked why none of them was appointed to the vacancy.

The MCWD board or the chairman must answer this, too.

It’s not clear in the news reports how Casas learned about the vacant position or who informed him about it, and why the former city administrator submitted his application. It’s not also stated in the news as to when the new assistant general manager will be appointed.

Granting the MCWD general manager will appoint a person to the vacant position not named Casas, will the BOD concur now that Daluz has made public his personal preference for the Partido Panaghiusa chairman?

Remember the current BOD members have a common link: Labella. The late mayor appointed them. There must be some kind of brotherhood in the MCWD boardroom.