Mambaling ‘stalemate’ affects workers’ salaries

CLOSE friends and family will find it odd if I decide to heed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s call to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ this Holy Week.No doubt about that.Already I can imagine them squinting,

SOME 113 employees of Mambaling Barangay Hall have not been paid.

Some, like First Councilor Ann Palomo and three other councilors, have not received their honorarium in the last eight months.

The four are political allies of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Palomo and Gines Abellana, the elected barangay captain, have been at odds since the Cebu City Council suspended Abellana for grave abuse of authority for withholding the honorarium of Palomo and the three other councilors.

Abellana cannot transact with the Land Bank of the Philippines even if his allies make up the council majority because the bank has suspended transactions with the barangay.

Around noon Monday, Feb. 11, tension erupted between Abellana and Palomo during an inventory of properties.

Their verbal exchange lasted more than 10 minutes on the second floor of the old barangay hall.

Palomo, who is acting barangay captain, told Abellana he had no right to sit as the village chief as he was serving a suspension.

But Abellana, a lawyer, retorted that Palomo had no authority from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Palomo showed the certificate of incumbency DILG Cebu City Director Emma Joyevelyn Calvo issued last Jan. 23.

But Abellana had obtained a memorandum from DILG-Manila, instructing regional directors to endorse their decisions, resolutions and orders from Provincial Boards and City/Municipal Councils to the Office of the President with the signature of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

“They have no authority. I have the order from the Office of the President that the order is stayed with the filing of my appeal. If I can pay the docket fee and I can secure the certificate that my appeal was filed on time, the suspension is stayed,” Abellana said.

Palomo was not able to complete her inventory after her staff failed to enter the offices of the barangay captain, treasurer and warehouse, as these were padlocked.

An air-conditioning unit, a typewriter and a service vehicle were among the few items they recorded in the inventory.

Abellana said he would only agree to an inventory in the presence of representatives from the DILG and the Commission on Audit, and not just witnesses from the City Hall. (From PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)