Former solon, 2 others sanctioned for unfair labor practice

from April 21, 2014 04:00 pm to April 21, 2014 04:00 pm

 By Gervie Kay S. Estella

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:13 am | Monday, April 21st, 2014

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A five-member council tasked to protect the rights of government employees has sanctioned former Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. and two other former officials of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) for unfair labor practice.


The Public Sector Labor-Management Council (PSLMC) ruled that Pichay, former LWUA chair, as well as the agency’s former administrator Daniel I. Landingin and retired internal control manager Manolo A. Kagahastian committed unfair labor practice under Section 1 (d), Rule XVI of the Amended Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 180.


The ruling said administrative sanctions will be imposed on the officials, who are also liable for criminal prosecution.


The decision promulgated on March 14 was made by Civil Service Commission (CSC) chair and PSLMC head Francisco Duque III, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, as attested by CSC Director Alan Alegria, head of the PSLMC secretariat.


Acts of reprisal

The LWUA Employees’ Association for Progress (LEAP), through its president, Melanio Cachupin II, filed a complaint of oppression, harassment and unfair labor practice against the three officials on Feb. 11, 2011, for what they claimed were “acts of reprisal” after the union filed a plunder complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against Pichay and other LWUA officials in 2009.


LEAP exposed the agency’s unauthorized P780-million investment in the now defunct Express Savings Bank in 2009, causing the dismissal of Pichay, Landingin and former LWUA acting deputy administrator Wilfredo Feleo in 2011.


Since Pichay was already dismissed prior to the release of the administrative case on unfair labor practice, Cuchapin told the Inquirer that LEAP was planning to turn the charges into a criminal case.


“This should serve as a warning to corrupt officials not to harass employees who are trying to expose their corrupt practices,” Cuchapin said.


LEAP said the bank purchase and the creation of a private subsidiary known as LWUA Consult Inc. (LCI) would duplicate the main functions of LWUA and endanger the security of tenure of the agency’s employees.


‘Disrespectful behavior’

“To protect the interest of the employees of LWUA, Cuchapin wrote several letters to Landingin to stop the creation of the said private corporation,” the PSLMC ruling said. “However, Pichay and Landingin continued to create the LCI.”


LEAP said Pichay and Landingin then issued memoranda and office orders that led to the suspension of Cuchapin and other key union officers, citing the union heads’ alleged failure to register with the CSC the approved agency collective negotiations agreement for 2007 to 2010, as well as for their “disrespectful behavior” during a mass action in June 2010.


The Inquirer tried to get a comment from Pichay but he could not be reached.





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