BMO worker fired
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.