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PPDO transfer legal – Guv

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson reads a decision of the Comelec regional office in Western Visayas allowing the provincial government to be exempted in the transfer of its employees during the election period.*GPB photo

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said that the transfer of Provincial Planning and Development Officer Ma. Lina Sanogal to the Office of the Governor was legal, stressing that it was approved by the Commission on Elections.

This was after Sanogal filed a complaint against Lacson and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz before the Comelec for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

At the same time, she also filed a separate complaint against Lacson before the Civil Service Commission on April 1.

Lacson, in his letter dated March 15, requested from Comelec authority to transfer officers or employees during the period for the Comelec ban on transfer of government employees.

Lacson justified the transfer of Sanogal, who is about to retire October this year from the government service, to the Office of the Governor to attend special concerns, stressing that it did not violate the election ban on transfer of employees.

Atty. Wilfredo Balisado, Comelec regional director, in his letter to Lacson dated March 18, said “as you represented, said request is essential to the proper functioning of the office and shall not in any manner influence the conduct of May 9 elections, that the request shall not involve promotion or the giving of any increase in salary or remuneration or privilege during the prohibited period before the elections, which is strictly prohibited without any exception whatsoever, and that this authorization shall be prospective in application and without prejudice to the applicable Civil Service Law, rules and regulations on personnel actions or movements.”

“In view of the foregoing, this Office hereby grants exemption from the prohibition on the transfer and movement of personnel with regard to the transfer above mentioned in relation to the May 9 elections,” Balisado said.

Aside from Sanogal, also transferred were Anna Marie Lucasan from Office of the Provincial Administrator to PPDO and Jordan Pagdato from the Office of the Provincial Administrator to the Mambukal Mountain Resort and Wildlife Sanctuary.

“What is surprising is that they had a lengthy talk with Provincial Legal Officer Diaz about the matter, and she turned around, and filed the complaint against us,” Lacson said.

In Nov, 15 last year, he said that Sanogal wrote him thru Diaz, informing him of her and other PPDO personnel, including Lea Ballados Javier, Cheryl Rose Yligan Oceja and Teresita Misal Sodusta, of their decision to retire in 2022, also asking for budget allocation equivalent to their respective terminal leave benefits.

“Because of this, Lacson said that Diaz and Sanogal had a lengthy talk, since she already manifested that she will be retiring in 2022. Maybe, we can start the transition already, this early,” Lacson said.

“So in short, he added, the move that the province did was reassigning Sanogal under the Office of the Governor,” Lacson said.

In short, he said that Sanogal knew the move of the province, because it was discussed to her by Atty. Diaz. Hence, there was an office order re-assigning her to the Office of the Governor, he added.

Sanogal said that her re-assignment was implemented in March 15, when there was no approval yet from the Comelec.

She also raised the question on the urgency of her transfer, as she has yet to reach 60 years on September this year.*

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