|Mayor Romero (2nd from right) explains the nitty - gritty of an issue|
Amid the brouhahas on the alleged payroll scam in Mangaldan in Pangasinan, political columnist Mortz C. Ortigoza interviewed Mangaldan Mayor Herminio Romero about his stance on the so-called scam, the Commission of Audit investigation among several municipal personnel, and the filling of the case against them today (Tuesday, May 15, 2012) by the provincial attorney at the Civil Service Commission, excerpts:
Mortz C. Ortigoza (MCO): What’s your take on the rally this afternoon at the plaza, mayor?
Herminio Romero (HAR): Actually Biyernes pa lang aprobado ko na iyan. I encouraged them to do it in a very peaceful and proper manner. Kasi I asked our chief of police (Lt. Colonel Mateo C. Casupang) and the organizer (barangay) kagawad Erica Limon na mag usap sila (chief) ng mechanics. Kagaya ng who will be the organizer of the musical rally. It will begin at 4 o’clock this afternoon at saka hanggang 6 pm.
MCO: There would be some prominent people who will speak there?
HAR: I don’t know. Maaring merong ganoon. Hopefully, hindi gagawing political iyong meeting. Lambast doon, lambast dito!
MCO: Who is behind the rally?
HAR: Organizer is Erika Limon. Ayon sa kanyang note (letter he sent to the mayor’s office) ay they do not allow politicians in the musical rally. Kaya lang si hepe ang gusto niyang maniguro na walang bad elements na sumingit. He takes precaution. Si hepe at siya (Limon) ay nag-usap na diyan.
MCO: If anyone who would go there and denounced your administration, do you think you would be defenseless for it?
HAR: Ya, kasi rally nila iyon.
MCO: I heard that within this week there would be result from the investigation on the alleged payroll padding under your administration?
HAR: Actually, iyong COA (Commission of Audit) as far as the payroll scam is concerned tapos na sila. However, they have expanded -- hindi ko alam iyong expand audit nila (I saw there this afternoon special COA personnel from San Carlos City at the office of the treasurer. They told me they do updates. Someone told me there that the bursar and the municipal accountant are on leave- Mortz). The reports of the COA would be submitted to the regional director in San Fernando City in La Union. Sila po ay magbibigay ng final report sa amin. Iyan ang protocol nila. It will be the regional office that will give the final report saka ibibigay sa amin. Hopefully, hangang Biyernes ang kanilang imbestigasyon. Ibibigay na sa region. Siguro after that mga two weeks may ibibigay na sa amin na final report.
Pero, what we have done Mortz is we will not be waiting for the final report. Medyo matagal na. Pangalawa, we do not know if it will be postponed. Madi-delay. Iyong advised of our legal consultants at saka iyong kasama namin na ibigay na lang iyong reports ng COA for 15 months (investigation). 12 months for 2011 and three (3) months for 2012. They are sufficient basis for the Civil Service Commission’s investigation and eventual action. They will be the one to investigate.
MCO: Basing on the sentiments of the people in Mangaldan, they want heads to roll. Are you going to make some heads roll because of the acrimonious scam things?
HAR: Dependi sa report ng CSC. CSC is the one (that will do the sanction).
MCO: Iyong preventive suspension si Civil Service Commission na rin?
HAR. Sila na, pati iyong dismissal sila na rin.
MCO: Kelan mag pa-file ng case sa CSC ang municipio?
HAR: As far as I am concerned the provincial legal officer natin si Dindin (Atty. Geraldine Baniqued) has sent her personnel to file (the case against the concerned employees) this afternoon. We will wait for the receipt of the complaint. Kaya pakisabi na lang hindi na namin hinintay ang final report ng COA dahil baka tatagal uli. This is upon the advice of our legal counsel. They (Mangaldanians) do not need to wait for the final report from the COA.