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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, February 24, 2016
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Gamboa reacts - 5


My apologies for missing my column yesterday, but I had to yield to my doctors' order to have a complete bed rest. I did not know that it meant getting “nailed” to the bed in an ICU and undergoing a lot of physical examinations. Although everything turned out well and I thought I could write my column on Sunday, the order says I stay for another day of rest, at least, not in the ICU. Thank God I got a clean bill of health because indeed there are exciting days ahead. So let's continue with the first letter of Wilson Gamboa.

Gamboa reiterated that this Lodora.k.a Angie Arguelles was detailed as a legislative tracker under the Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) and resigned for the period of December 2015, but for humanitarian reason, she was able to receive her entire salary for the month of November and the December 2015 bonus and gift of ham with the understanding, upon the advice of the Vice Mayor's Office, that she gives the salary to her replacement.

He explained, "She admitted receiving her December 2015 salary on air but did not give it to her replacement because she has to pay for her hounding debts.  I felt pity that she allowed herself to be used by political elements who are exploiting her sorry situation and together they all lied in public.  NOT A SINGLE CENT was received by my Office or by my person to deserve the moniker ‘'labo' they completely lied about this."

I am at a loss about that phrase of Arguelles “receiving her December 2015 on air.” Does one receive a salary “on air” or is this just a matter of dangling phrase? Since there is a name surely this girl exists, not a ghost but did she receive her salary “on air”? If she received her “salary on air” how can she give it to her replacement? Now that is just a joke, but that part of Gamboa's letter is not a joke but a problem of syntax.

So he continues saying “Replacement arrangements like this are an accepted norm to avoid delay and for HUMANITARIAN reason, no wonder was allowed by the Vice Mayor's Office. It is such a wonder that Sa-onoy claimed this is not clear to him.  I challenge him, go and dig out documents of this same nature at the Vice Mayor's Office.”

Setting another of Gamboa's syntax problem aside, is the practice of using a terminated employee to receive the money to be given to a person whose name is not in the Daily Time Record and on the payroll legal? Can humanitarian reason be a legal defense? Arguelles' name is on the DTR that Gamboa certified to be correct when she was already terminated. Did not Gamboa commit perjury since the DTR is under oath?

Gamboa's certification authorized Arguelles to get public funds for which she, according to Gamboa, did not work for and then give the money to another that Gamboa did not certify to have worked and whose name was not on the payroll. Who negotiated the “arrangement”? Did Gamboa initiate the arrangement to commit an illegal act? If he did not arrange, he surely admitted he approved it.

Is this the “norm”? When did perjury, falsification and misrepresentation become the norm, an accepted and legal practice in public office? From my view, nowhere but Gamboa says this is the normal practice in the Vice Mayor's office. Acting Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya and other vice mayors should explain or tell us when this became the norm in their office and under what authority. I repeat this involves public funds. Or is this practice a norm only during the Monico Puentevella administration or normal during Gamboa's tenure? Or perhaps it is normal only in Gamboa's office? It would help the public and Gamboa if other councilors speak up, lest all are dirtied.

Gamboa hides behind the “Office of the Vice Mayor” to justify his questionable actions. “Office” is a concept. Gamboa should reveal who in this office gave him this advice. He should not resort to personification when we need is a person. I asked him that before but did not mention the name. Is it because nobody gave him that advice? Or is he afraid that if he revealed the name, this person will deny his claim or even sue him?

Let's continue tomorrow. *



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