CAGAYAN de Oro City--Misamis Oriental Vice Gov. Jose Mari Pelaez yesterday thumbed down Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member Frederick Khu’s proposal to investigate the alleged existence of “ghost employees” at the provincial board.
payroll fraud? Misamis Oriental Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member Frederick Khu (right, sitting) looks at fellow SP member Gerardo Sabal III (left) in contempt as Sabal censures him for accusing the SP of maintaining ghost employees without presenting evidence.Photo by Mark Francisco
During the SP weekly session, Pelaez once again challenged Khu to present evidence regarding his accusations.
Again, Khu claimed that the report was forwarded to him on what he dubbed as “concerned citizens.”
Regarding Khu’s insistence for a probe, Pelaez said it would be akin to a witch hunt and refused to budge his view on the matter.
Allegations of the presence of ghost employees at SP first came to light in last week’s session with a heated discussion between Pelaez and Khu.
In yesterday’s session, SP member Gerardo Sabal III came to Pelaez’s side and scolded Khu on the floor, saying that the privilege hour accorded to SP members during session must not be abused.
“We must be responsible as legislators. If we say anything on record, we must be ready to back it up and stand for what we said,” Sabal said.
In a press statement last week, Pelaez admitted that not all SP employees physically work at the capitol. Many are in their respective districts, doing errands for the SP members, touching base with the constituents.
The SP quabbling is a rarity ever since Pelaez took over the vice governorship in 2013.
The vice governor has been known as a pacifist, unifying both the majority and minority bloc.
Khu is a member of the minority bloc but he is alone in this particular quest.
Pelaez’s press statement was signed by all of Khu’s colleagues.
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