Tri­bunalo should file a leave or re­sign

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - BOBBY NALZARO bobby@suns­tar.co.ph

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.

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