Fury over DOLE’s decision in ex-labor attache's case
HONG KONG – Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s revelation that an investigating panel of the Department of Labor and Employment had reached a decision on the case of former labor attache Manuel Roldan sparked fury during a forum with community leaders on August 7. (READ: Ex-PH labor attaché to HK gets off with 1-month suspension)
Roldan was probed for alleged grave misconduct and for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service which he reportedly committed while posted in Hong Kong.
Adrielle Pañares, who heads the Coalition of Service Providers (CSPEM) which initiated the complaint against Roldan, was furious that her group was not asked to give evidence in the case.
“Bakit kayo nagdesisyon nang hindi tinatanong kaming mga complainant? Kami ang nagreklamo, may hawak kaming mga ebidensiya at naghintay kaming tawagin ninyo sa imbestigasyon,” she said angrily. (Why did you decide without asking us, the complainants? We are the ones who filed a complaint, with the evidence and are waiting for you to call us about the investigation)
Baldoz replied that she called for the investigation based on the report submitted by Consul General Bernardita Catalla in September, on the understanding the the investigating panel formed by the Consulate had heard all the evidence.
But she said the complainants could still appeal the decision by the DOLE panel, which she said was not yet final.
Cynthia Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers which is also with CSPEM, said she and the other complainants had expected the (Department of Labor and Employment) DOLE panel to contact them after reading their complaint letter attached to the Consulate report.
Pañares said all they sent to Congen Catalla was a two-page complaint letter, which was subsequently attached to the Consulate report in the form of an annex. No documentary evidence was attached to it.
“Ngayon, kanino kami mag-aapela? (Now, to whom do we file an appeal?)” Pañares demanded.
“Sa akin, dahil tulad ng sabi ko, ako pa rin ang may final decision,” Baldoz replied. (Me, because like I said before, I have the final decision)
She added that the Consul General’s report gave a chance to the complainants to give their side so the DOLE panel merely focused on this in doing its own inquiry.
Catalla responded that she initiated the probe of Roldan after receiving the complaints because as head of the Consulate, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) was under her administration.
“As head of the diplomatic mission I had to act,” Catalla said. – Rappler.com
This story was republished with permission from The SUN-HK