City lawmakers step-in controversy on DepEd

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City lawmakers step-in controversy on DepEd

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The hearing on the City DepEd controversy conducted by joint committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod held at city temporary session hall. (rvo)
The hearing on the City DepEd controversy conducted by joint committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod held at city temporary session hall. (rvo)

TAGBILARAN CITY – The joint committees of the city council swung into fact-finding probe in aid-of-legislation over the complaint filed against city schools superintendent Dr. Evangel M. Luminarias of the Department of Education in this city.

 There are no more anonymity on the part of the protesters as they came face-to-face with the “respondent” during the hearing conducted yesterday by the committees on  Ethics, Education and Human Rights/Public Accountability chaired by City Councilor Atty. Augustinus “Dodong” Gonzaga.

 The complainants, composed of teachers and non-teaching personnel of the city division, reiterated their previous demand: Relieve Luminarias from her present position and “to sanction her the proper damages in court for her ill motives of oppression,” the executive summary of the joint committee hearing said.

The violations were allegedly committed by Luminarias “inflicting injury upon teachers, pupils, rank and file employees and stakeholders of the DepEd” in this city, the executive summary said.

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The stakeholders include Private Schools Association, Schools Parents Teachers Association and the Catechist of the parishes represented by their parish priests of each barangay, it said.

The executive summary said that the alleged violations “are substantiated with affidavit and statement of facts to prove to the public that the persons appearing this court and hteir testimonies are executed by own will and volition without any sanction or pressure from any person or entities, for the purpose of letting everyone know especially those who are in the right position to mediate our cases for we cannot anymore trust the DepEd Tagbilaran City grievance committee to handle our plight to stop oppression  in our workplace.”

Complainants said in the executive summary that their accusations against Luminarias are based on facts and testimonies of those personnel affected.

These include: (1) Illegal transfer of teachers and school heads with testmonies of Mr. Nilo Sendrijas, Ms. Jeycelle Inting and Mrs. Lucia Butlig, Cogon High School Evening class; (2) Discrimination of students with disabilities (deaf and mute) with testimony of Mrs. Leslie Marie Dispo, SPED teacher, Annex A1-A2. Police blotter of Mrs. Rizalina Peligro, principal of the Hearing Impaired and Letter of complaint of the Parents of SPED-hearing Impaired Kindergarten students; (3) Violation of Constitutional right of Teachers and employees to self-organization with threat and creating her own organization to counter the existing organizations (police joint blotter, incident reports from Melany Buntag, Jenelou John Israel and Liza Maquiling and testimonies of harassment and oppresion: Mr. Efren Ortiz, PTCA president; Engr. Robert Rio, interim president, Tagbilaran Association of Private Schools Association (TAPSA).

Luminarias also is accused of “constructive dismissal of employees” with a sworn statement of Mr. Ruel Namocatcat, administrative officer V and Mrs. Melany Buntag, cashier II.

The allegation of “maltreatment and persecution using her authority with willful intentional neglect often enforced by threats or by the imposition of burden to the employees to the employee and to the organization” is suppoted with affidavit of Mrs. Marina Salamanca, OIC-ASDS, Bohol Division; Mrs. Neolita Sarabia, principal, Dampas Elementary School; Letter from the Diocese of Tagbilaran through the Vicar General Msgr. Vicente Nunag III; and testimonies of Mr. Marcelino Pelin, principal, Bool elementary School; Mr. Basilides Sempron, school principal, Manga Elementary School; Liza E. Maquiling, planning officer II, the executive summary said.

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The respondent (Luminarias) during the City council’s probe is also accused of “misuse of public funds” including fund of the Central Visayas Regional athletic Association (CVIRAA) and “violation of the Procrement Act 9184 supported by audit findings/observations for exit conference, dated January 23, 2015 and testimonies of Ruel Namocatcat, Engr. Robert Rio, Mr. Marcelino Pelin, and Mr. Jenelou John Israel.

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 Earlier, complainants and private individuals urged DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro to oust Luminarias from her present post for the allged violations of laws and other charges. In their petition-letter dated Noveber 14, 2014 Luistro, the petitioners who called themselves stakeholders of the city division “have this position letter in relation to asking your honored  office to relieve Luminarias from our office.”

Earlier, Luminarias reacted to the allegations hurled against her and tried to answer some of the allegations during a radio interview.

In that interview, she said that she wanted to meet her detractors squarely, saying she’s ready to answer and find out what are their “dissatisfaction” over the organization. She said that it’s unfair on her part that the accusations are lobbed agains her by those who remain anonymous.

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She said she urged the complaints to come out to the open since she’ll be glad to face them in proper forum in the name of transparency. She said that  she has nothing to fear about because she’s God-fearing person.

But Luminarias said she considered all these as trials under her leadership, saying that “equality and fairness” is what her leadership is promoting. But if the alegations are all deliberate to ruin her personality, then she has nothing to do about it, she said.

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She said that there was fact-finding team who conducted interviews of some DepEd workers. She said that she’s very happy that there was this fact-finding apparently to find out the truth.

Gonzaga has suspended the hearing which is expected to be conducted again but the date was not announced yet.

It (hearing) was well attended by almost all media outfits in the city.

Among those who actively participated in the hearing included City Councilors Jerry Pabe, Betty Torralba, Dulce Glovasa and Philip Besas as members of the joint committee. (rvo)

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