BMO worker fired

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Odessa O. Leyson, Staff Mem­ber

Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña has fired a staff mem­ber of the Barangay Mayor’s Of­fice in Barangay Apas for al­legedly so­lic­it­ing il­le­gally from busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments there.

Os­meña said he re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that the staff mem­ber, Re­nato Jardaleza, al­legedly so­licited money from es­tab­lish­ments us­ing the of­fi­cial seal of the city gov­ern­ment. He even al­legedly threat­ened busi­ness own­ers there.

"This guy is not the head but we have some feed­back that some ven­dors there in IT Park are com­plain­ing that this guy, Jardaleza, was so­lic­it­ing or threat­en­ing them if they have mayor's per­mit… That's good enough be­cause it does not come from Ayu­man, it came from my own source," he told re­porters.

Last Wed­nes­day, Apas Barangay Cap­tain Ramil Ayu­man ex­pressed alarm over the al­legedly ir­reg­u­lar so­lic­i­ta­tion of BMOs in his barangay fol­low­ing com­plaints by some busi­ness own­ers.

In the so­lic­i­ta­tion let­ter, city gov­ern­ment and barangay seals were be­ing used, which is il­le­gal be­cause BMO is not a gov­ern­ment of­fice.

In the let­ter, BMO asked busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments to shell out P100,000 to P1 mil­lion to fund the barangay's Sin­u­log con­tin­gent.

The mayor said, "Un­der the sys­tem of jus­tice, you're in­no­cent un­til proven guilty, but if you are ap­pointed by To­mas Os­meña, you are guilty and fired un­til you prove your in­no­cence."

Sec­tion 7 (d) of Repub­lic Act 6713 or the Code of Con­duct and Eth­i­cal Stan­dards of Pub­lic Of­fi­cials and Em­ploy­ees pro­vides that “Pub­lic of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees shall not so­licit or ac­cept, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, any gift, gra­tu­ity, fa­vor, en­ter­tain­ment, loan or any­thing of mon­e­tary value from any per­son in the course of their of­fi­cial du­ties or in con­nec­tion with any op­er­a­tion be­ing reg­u­lated by, or any trans­ac­tion which may be af­fected by the func­tions of their of­fice.”

"I want to make it clear that I will not tol­er­ate any kind of ex­tor­tion, di­rect or in­di­rect, un­der my ad­min­is­tra­tion. Even if it is P20. What more for P100,000? This is the thing that I hate be­cause it gives all BMOs a bad rep­u­ta­tion," Os­meña said.

Os­meña even wel­comed the move of Ayu­man, his po­lit­i­cal critic, to file a for­mal com­plaint against Jardaleza be­fore the De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG).

"Fine, I will help him (Ayu­man), no prob­lem. They are the com­mon en­emy... He is for po­lit­i­cal rea­son but me it's for cor­rup­tion,” he said.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Jardaleza said he will ac­cept Os­meña's de­ci­sion.

"Yes, wala man koy prob­lema ana kay mao man ang balaod... ipadaan lang pud sa in­ves­ti­ga­tion," he said.

Jardaleza said was not the one who drafted the so­lic­i­ta­tion let­ter and de­nied threat­en­ing busi­ness owner.

“Wala man mi na-gen­er­ate nga money sa so­lic­i­ta­tion… wala koy nakuha nga money kay igo rako mo-dis­trib­ute sa let­ter ang mo-fol­low up kay si Teresa ang mag-con­trol sa bud­get for our Sin­u­log con­tin­gent,” he said.

Os­meña said dis­band­ing the whole BMO in Apas is not a re­mote pos­si­bil­ity.

"Ang pos­si­bil­ity ma-dis­band ang en­tire BMO. I dis­banded the en­tire BMO of Basak San Ni­co­las be­cause they did not do their job. They have noth­ing to do with cor­rup­tion but I dis­banded them be­cause they are not dis­tribut­ing the medicines prop­erly," he said.

For his part, Ayu­man com­mended Os­meña's prompt ac­tion de­spite their dif­fer­ences in po­lit­i­cal colors.

Ayu­man said he re­port­edly re­ceived a text mes­sage from Jardaleza at 6:58 p.m., which he felt like a form of a threat.

It reads: “Kap tinira mo ko ha hindi ko puta­han kita ngayon, kita mo kung sino ako.”

Ayu­man said he im­me­di­ately re­sponded and asked Jardaleza if he was try­ing to threaten him but the lat­ter re­port­edly de­nied the same and asked for for­give­ness.

Still, Ayu­man said, he re­ported the mat­ter to the Mabolo Po­lice Sta­tion for se­cu­rity pur­poses.

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