Compostela officials face suit over backwages

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SEVEN Compostela residents are questioning before the Ombudsman the collection of back wages by elected town officials.

The complainants contend that the “no work, no pay” rule applies to Mayor Joel Quiño, Vice Mayor Antonette Dangoy and the town councilors who only assumed office last March when the Commission on Elections ruled that they were the winners in the May 2010 election.

In a letter addressed to Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol, the complainants asked the anti-graft office to conduct a fact-finding investigation or a special fraud audit on the alleged irregularities.

“The undersigned (complainants) would like to inform your office that despite demand, the concerned Compostela municipal officials refused to furnish copies of the public documents requested in connection with the questionable release of more than P6.9 million of back salaries,” the complainants said.

The local officials who allegedly received their back salaries aside from Quiño are town councilors Josephone Abing, Joy Ann Cabatingan, Alfredo Cabatingan, Homer Canen, Alfredo Calo, Tessa Cang, Jose Caganag, and Francisco Oliverio; ABC president Joven Amor; and SK Federation president Daisy Rell Lopez.

The complainants said the collection of back wages constitute malversation, grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and a violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The 12 local officials of Compostela were declared winners during the May 10, 2010, elections only last March 5..

But they were not allowed to assume their post due to a protest filed by the camp of former mayor Ritchie Wagas.

They said the local officials were also not removed nor suspended from office to justify the payment of back salaries.

“They (officials) could only claim salaries starting from March 6—the day they assumed office or the day they actually worked,” the complainants said.

The complainants are Susisa Makiling of barangay Cambayog; Socrates Melendres, Gloria Jayme and Lilibeth Gahi of barangay Cogon; and Abraham Paradiang, Candelario Quimbo and Edgar Maestrado of barangay Poblacion.

Cebu Daily News tried to contact Quiño for his reaction but he didn’t answer the calls. A text message sent to him was also left unanswered.

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