Garcia’s staff marked AWOLBy Renan Alangilan
Cebu Daily News
SEVEN Capitol employees whose appointments are co-terminus with suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia were placed on Awol (absent without official leave) status after they failed to report the Governor’s Office.
The employees, led by Garcia’s chief of staff Elizabeth Francia, were given 72 hours to show up at the Capitol in an order signed by acting Gov. Agnes Magpale.
Aside from Francia, among the employees were Amor Sarmiento, Edwin Mixdon, Jerry Winona Catipay, Ronald Conopio and Ma. Elena Samson. They went on leave immediately after the Governor’s Office was closed when Garcia stepped out of her office last Jan. 30.
Lawyer Michel Ligan, head of the Capitol’s Committee on Discipline and Investigation (Codi), said records at the Human Resource Development Office showed that the employees only filled up the leave forms, but the documents did not have the signature of Governor Magpale who was supposed to approve their leave applications.
“Ilang gipanabi nga ni-file daw sila ug leave ug gani gusto sila mu-avail sa tanan nga leave available credits sa ilaha, apan wala man sila’y klaro nga pag-file kay wala man kadawat ang office ni Magpale nga maoy mu-approved sa maong leave,” he said.
(They’ve been saying that they went on leave. If they want to avail of their available leave credits, they should have filed their leave applications properly. Their applications did not reach Gov. Magpale’s office.)
Ligan explained that as co-terminus employees, their appointment is effective until the term of their appointing authority ends. And since Gov. Garcia was merely suspended and was not removed from office, her term and their appointment continues until June 30.
“It doesn’t mean that they will no longer have to discharge their functions, duties and responsibilities just because Gov. Garcia was suspended. They should do their job unless they resign from their work,” he said.
The Codi chief said he hopes that the employees concerned would come forward and report for work so as not to forfeit the benefits due them.
“I hope nga di lang unta ta masangko ta ani sa possible termination sa ilang service kay sayang pod ang ilang gihagoan nga pagtrabaho sa Kapitolyo to think nga taod-taod na pod sila nagserbisyo sa Kapitolyo sud ang uban gani solid gyud ang tulo ka termino ni Garcia.” Ligan said.
(I hope this would not lead to their possible termination so as not to waste the years of service they have given to the Capitol, to think that they’ve been there for a long time – some were even there since Garcia became governor in 2004.)
“If they will come and report to the Office of Acting Governor Agnes Magpale , it’s up to Magpale where they will be assigned. Maybe they’ll be seconded to the office of the Acting Vice Governor Julian Daan since most of the co-terminus and casual employees of Garcia are now in the office of Daan,” he said.