Ex-NegOcc mayor faces jail term for security of tenure violation

MANILAA former mayor of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental is facing a five-year jail term for violation of the law on security of tenure in connection with his failure to reinstate several city hall employees in 1999.

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division found former Cadiz City Mayor Eduardo Varela guilty of Section 4 of RA 6656, or An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization, in relation to Section 10 of RA 6656.

Aside from the jail sentence, the anti-graft court also ordered Varela to pay a PHP5,000 fine. He was also perpetually barred from holding public office.

"The former mayor cannot use the defense that the reorganization was authored and was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and that the recommendation for appointment to positions in the new staffing pattern was made by the Placement Committee because it was admitted that it was the former mayor who made and approved the appointments of the new employees to the new staffing pattern, the Sandiganbayan said in its 31-page ruling dated Oct. 8.

The violation of the Civil Service Rules (CSC) was actually committed by no less than the former mayor as he was the one who deprived the private complainants of the right of first refusal or the vest right to reappointment in the positions in the new staffing pattern of the city government of Cadiz, it added.

In its complaint, the Office of the Ombudsman alleged and cited the May 21, 1999 CSC resolution, which stated that the reorganization approved and implemented by Valera resulted in the termination of services of 166 employees. A total of 101 new employees, however, were hired later.

The Sandiganbayan noted that Varela's lawyers never denied that new employees were hired after the reorganization and that employees holding lower positions in the previous plantilla system were appointed to higher positions in the new staffing pattern.

The anti-graft court said the increase in the number of items re-created in the Public Health Nurse II position is also a strong indication of bad faith on the part of Varela in the approval of reorganization. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency