ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa said he temporarily dropped his plan to file a case against Treasurer Jinny Hermano over the latter’s continued defiance to sign the payrolls of excess job hires.
In an interview Monday, Espinosa said the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines prevents him from filing a case against Hermano.
“The only thing that prevents us is the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines. Because of the political season, we consulted lawyers and the Commission on Elections (Comelec),” he said.
Espinosa said there are speculations that job hires will also be filing separate legal actions against Hermano.
Despite this, the mayor assured that he would be doing everything within his power to give the excess job hires there long-delayed salaries.
Hermano has constantly refused to sign the payrolls of excess job hires due to limited appropriations under the 2018 reenacted budget.
The city treasurer has maintained this stand despite directives from the mayor himself and the two legal opinions from the City Legal Office (CLO), and an audit report from the Internal Audit Service (IAS) Office debunking his claims on the budget shortage.
The report of the Internal Audit Service (IAS) Office concluded that Hermano’s claims that the city lacks cash backup is false.
Based on the report, an estimated difference of P205,362,999.45 is more than enough to cover the projected deficit initially claimed by Hermano.
But Hermano insists that the budget is not enough to pay excess job hires, hence, he will not be signing their payrolls.
Sec. 261 of Article 12 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines laid down election offenses, including coercion of subordinates.
“Any public officer, or any officer of any public or private corporation or association, or any head, superior, or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or land-owner who coerces or intimidates or compels, or in any manner influence, directly or indirectly, any of his subordinates or members or parishioners or employees or house helpers, tenants, overseers, farm helpers, tillers, or lease holders to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates,” Sec. 261 stipulates.
Another election offense under Sec. 261 are “any public officer or any officer of any commercial, industrial, agricultural, economic or social enterprise, or any head, superior or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or landowner who dismisses or threatens to dismiss, punishes or threatens to punish be reducing his salary, wage or compensation, or by demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, excommunication, ejectment, or causing him annoyance in the performance of his job or in his membership for disobeying or not complying with any of the acts ordered by the former to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate, or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates."