ILOILO City – Mayor Jose Espinosa III has pulled out three city government employees assigned at the office of Cong. Jerry Treñas. Why?
“In the exigency of service, you are hereby relieved of your present assignments…effective 22 May 2018,” read part of Espinosa’s Memorandum Order No. 99 dated May 18, 2018.
It was unclear as of this writing if Treñas was informed of the pull-out.
Treñas last week took potshots at Espinosa’s “Pag-ulikid Sang Syudad” – a weekly program that brings city government services to the barangays.
The three city government employees ordered to return to their respective mother units at city hall were Cherry Jover-Ampig, assistant department head II; Rudina Blas, day care worker; and Snow Paredes, administrative assistant I.
They were regular city government employees from way back when Treñas was still the mayor. When Treñas was elected congressman in 2010, then mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog detailed them to the former’s office.
Ampig’s mother unit is the City Civil Registrar’s Office. Blas is connected with the City Social Welfare and Development Office while Paredes is with the City Tourism and Development Office.
Espinosa’s memo cited no other reason for pulling out the three employees. But he issued the order days after Treñas criticized his “Pag-ulikid” program.
“They should not do it once a week or twice a week only. Seguro dapat adlaw-adlaw,” Treñas had said.
City Administrator Hernando Galvez denied that politics was behind the recall. The services of the three employees in their mother units were essential, he stressed, and their absence adversely affected the functions of their units.
He cited Ampig as example. As assistant department head, she should be taking charge of the office when the department head is not around, said Galvez.
“Kon wala ang department head, nobody will take over,” said Galvez, adding that the functions of such position could not be delegated to office personnel not qualified to perform such responsibilities.
In December 2016 Treñas announced he was quitting politics in 2019 and endorsed Espinosa for mayor. But in February this year he changed his mind and disclosed a plan to run for mayor.
Treñas then offered Espinosa to be his running mate for congressman but the mayor responded with a stony silence.
Espinosa, however, obliquely criticized Treñas for discussing 2019 political plans by saying, “For now let us focus on public service. The election is still far away. Discussing politics this early will be divisive.”
Galvez distanced himself from political discussions.
“Ang politics ila na ina ya. They can always argue. Ang sa aton diri ya what is proper and for best of the service,” he said yesterday.
Treñas lambasted last week Espinosa’s “Pag-ulikid” program – his first time to publicly rebuke his brother-in-law.
According to the congressman, he found it ironic that the city government would hold “Pag-ulikid” (Hiligaynon for “care”) on weekends when on weekdays it would be busy with “pangkakas (take down), pang-ipit (oppress) and pangkugâ (strangle).”
Treñas did not elaborate but he could be referring to the removal of city government executive assistants and job hires identified with him.
Espinosa has yet to announce his plans for the 2019 election but critics view his “Pag-ulikid” program as bordering on campaigning already.
Espinosa was elected vice mayor in 2016 and became the city mayor in October 2017 after the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed then Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog from government service for unexplained wealth./PN