SBMA exec sued for appointing workers, issuing orders as OIC
An anticorruption group on Tuesday filed an administrative complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against a top official of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for allegedly performing duties outside his function as an officer in charge (OIC) administrator of the agency last year.
Carlo Batalla and Diego Magpantay, officials of the Citizens Crime Watch, said lawyer Randy Escolango, SBMA deputy administrator for legal affairs, issued 13 office orders on personnel designation and five memoranda on office policies from October to December. He also allegedly executed unspecified contracts and agreements on behalf of the SBMA.
The complaint said Escolango “neither had the legal right nor the authority to issue the subject office orders.”
“The OIC has no power to appoint unless the designation issued by the proper appointing authority includes expressly the power to issue appointment,” it said.
Sought for comment, Escolango said his authority was contained in a memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Oct. 19 last year.
“I was mandated by the Office of the President to act as OIC administrator and I only did what I was tasked to do,” he said.
Medialdea, in the memorandum, said Escolango’s designation was “in the exigency of service” and would ensure “uninterrupted delivery of public service.”
“Had I not acted according to the duties of an OIC administrator, the day-to-day operations of SBMA would be hampered and this would have caused a huge negative impact on our investors and employees,” Escolango said.
Earlier, SBMA Chair Martin Diño questioned Escolango’s designation as OIC administrator after he challenged an executive order splitting the leadership of SBMA between the chair and the administrator.
Escolango reassumed his post as deputy administrator for legal affairs after President Duterte appointed lawyer Wilma Eisma as SBMA administrator in December. —VINCE F. NONATO AND ALLAN MACATUNO
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