Speaker denies ‘padrino’ in lobbying for ‘overqualified’ Customs official
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday denied that he lobbied for the promotion of a certain Bureau of Customs official Sandy Sacluti, adding that the latter is only “overqualified” for the job.
Alvarez made this statement in an interview with GMA News “News to Go,” where he was asked for his comment that his recommendation for Sacluti to be promoted from acting customs operations officer 5 to customs operations officer 5 was a case of “padrino” system.
Alvarez said he recommended Sacluti because he is merely “overqualified” for the job.
“Ganito po iyan, yung empleyado na iyan, pumunta rito sa opisina ko, hindi ko kilala iyan, at humihingi nga ng tulong, rekomendasyon para naman ito ay ma-promote. Ngayon, tiningnan ko yung qualifications niya, kung ilang taon na siya roon, kung ano yung educational background niya, at yung performance niya doon, ok naman,” Alvarez said.
“Sa amin pong pagsisiyasat doon sa Bureau of Customs, yung tao po na nirekomenda ko, hindi po hindi qualified, overqualified pa nga,” he added.
Alvarez denied lobbying for and knowing personally the customs official, adding that Sacluti went to his office and asked for a recommendation, which the Speaker duly gave upon assessing his qualifications.
“Kaya po nirekomenda ko po iyan, hindi po ako nagla-lobby, binigyan ko ng rekomendasyon…Kaya po ako, dito po sa opisina ko, araw-araw po marami pong pumupunta rito, nagpapatulong, humihingi po ng rekomendasyon. At kung nakita naman namin na ito ay kuwalipikado naman, maganda naman yung qualifications, at yun naman ay binibigyan namin ng recommendation,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez’s supposed lobbying for Sacluti, who was later thumbed down as unqualified for promotion, prompted a tiff with Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and his chief of staff Mandy Anderson.
Alvarez’s supposed lobbying for the customs official apparently prompted Anderson to call the Speaker an “imbecile” in a Facebook post, which earned Anderson a dressing down by lawmakers in a previous House hearing.
Anderson accused Alvarez of having the latter’s aide call the customs lawyer to tell her to “bring hell” to Anderson and Faeldon. Alvarez denied this.
Faeldon stood by his chief of staff. Alvarez and his allies later called on Faeldon to resign from his post due to a P6 billion shabu shipment which were smuggled through the Bureau of Customs’ green lane.
In the News to Go interview, Alvarez scored the Bureau of Customs for the non-promotion of the career employees because of favored appointees, which he said constitute violation of civil service laws.
“Ang problema po dito kasi, dito sa Bureau of Customs, ganito. Marami pong mga empleyado na career employees na kung saan po ay hindi napo-promote. Hindi po sila naa-appoint doon sa posisyon na dapat ay nandodoon sila. Ang problema po, hindi po nasusunod yung Civil Service laws natin kaya po nagkaganoon,” Alvarez said.
“At siyempre, humahanap din po sila ng tulong, humihingi ng tulong doon sa mga other government officials kung saan, para naman mapansin sila at tingnan din yung qualifications nila,” he added. JE
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