SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday, November 28, told Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Martin Diño that only the President could appoint the SBMA administrator “and no other.”
The news comes after Diño sent a letter November 21 informing the Office of the President that he, as chairman of SBMA, has also assumed the position of the SBMA administrator and chief executive officer (CEO), allegedly, in accordance with Republic Act 7227.
However, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menandro Guevarra sent a letter dated November 28 to SBMA chairman Diño advising him that the designation of Atty. Randy Escolango as SBMA officer-in-charge office of the administrator is still in effect.
“Please be advised that the designation of Atty. Randy B. Escolango as Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Administrator, SBMA, has not been revoked by the Office of the President and thus remains in full force and effect,” said Guevarra.
“More importantly, under Section 13(d) of Republic Act No. 7227, the Administrator of the SBMA shall be appointed by the President and no other,” Guevarra added.
Diño was appointed SBMA chairman on September 23, 2016 and assumed office on Oct. 3 replacing then SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia. Meanwhile, Escolango is the concurrent deputy administrator for SBMA Legal Affairs.
Garcia held the position of SBMA administrator, supposedly until the President appointed the new administrator. However, Garcia resigned prematurely after Diño declared himself the SBMA administrator through Office Memorandum on October 10.
However, on October 19, the Office of the President – through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea – accepted Garcia’s resignation and designated Escolango as SBMA OIC administrator.
Despite Escolango’s designation, Diño continued to present himself as SBMA administrator, issuing dozens of office orders and memoranda and voiding all actions and instructions taken by Escolango as OIC administrator.
Diño’s actions usurping the position of SBMA Administrator has been taking its toll on investors and the operations of the agency.
Since July 2016, SBMA officers and employees are confused, no contract has been inked and possible new investments running into hundreds of millions of pesos have been lost.
“Enough is enough,” Escolango told reporters, adding that his mandate from Malacañang is clear and he vows not to let the whims and caprices of a “spoiled brat” destroy what SBMA has already achieved.
“President Duterte wants change. That change is for the better. Let’s not fail him,” Escolango said. – Rappler.com
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