Alvarez: I endorsed Customs officer’s promotion because he’s ‘overqualified’
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday he did not personally know Sandy Sacluti, a customs officer whose promotion he had strongly endorsed to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), but maintained that he believed the person was “overqualified” for the job.
Alvarez’ push for Sacluti’s promotion was cited earlier by lawyer Mandy Anderson, the chief-of-staff of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, as her point of conflict with the Speaker, and which had prompted her to make a controversial Facebook post in June calling him an “imbecile.”
Anderson said she had looked at Sacluti’s qualifications and rejected him after finding him unqualified for promotion. She claimed Alvarez later called him to his office and scolded her, and gave his staff marching orders to “bring hell to me and the commissioner.” Alvarez has denied this.
In a television interview, Alvarez said the employee had approached him in his office, seeking his help to get promoted from acting Customs Operations Officer V at the formal entry division of the Port of Manila to the same post in a regular capacity.
“I don’t know that person, and he asked me for a recommendation to be promoted. Now, I looked at his qualifications, how many years he’s been working there, his educational background, and his performance. Everything looked okay. So I recommended him,” he said.
“I did not lobby for him; I only made a recommendation. The problem here in the BOC is there are many career employees who are not being promoted and appointed to the positions they’re holding,” Alvarez said.
“Our civil service service laws are not being followed… Of course, they will ask for help from other government officials who can take a look at their qualifications,” the Speaker said.
Alvarez said he was receiving similar pleas for help in his office every day.
“Take a look at the person’s qualifications. Based on our analysis, the person I recommended was not only qualified, he was in fact overqualified,” he said.
In the May 15 letter bearing the letterhead of the House of Representatives, Alvarez cited Sacluti’s masters degree in customs administration and his ranking seventh in a personnel competency assessment of customs personnel in January.
“His resume is there anyway, and his employment record is there. Look yourself and investigate who are those sitting in different positions at Customs now,” he said.
At last week’s hearing by the House ways and means committee, Anderson got a tongue-lashing from lawmakers for a Facebook post in which she called Alvarez an imbecile.
She later told a radio interview the insult had been prompted by a previous run-in with Alvarez when the latter tried to get an “unqualified” person promoted at the BOC. JE
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