Palace defends axed NPO execs
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang yesterday defended six officials of the state-owned National Printing Office (NPO) from accusations they were overstaying despite an order dismissing them from government service.

At the same time, the Palace served notice to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that NPO is ready to print the official ballots for the May elections.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the cases filed against the NPO officials led by director Emmanuel Andaya and five others would not affect the operations to print the official ballots.

Coloma said the NPO officials “involved have filed their respective motions for reconsideration to the Office of the Ombudsman order and are awaiting its resolution.”

The Office of the Ombudsman last year recommended the dismissal of Andaya and five other officials for grave misconduct over NPO’s decision to print foreign travel clearance forms of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Andaya filed a 12-page motion for reconsideration along with Sylvia Banda, Josefina Samson, Antonio Sillona, Bernadette Lagumen and Ma. Gracia de Leon Enriquez seeking reversal of the sanction, claiming the investigators may have overlooked several facts.  

The NPO officials argued that it was the NBI that made an urgent request in November 2010, considering they were running out of forms for their clients seeking foreign travel clearance.

“Based on the requests of the NBI, they are already running out of stock, thus the need for the immediate delivery of the requested forms,” they stated.

“With all due respect, it is incorrect to state that the issuance of NBI forms is not a vital public service.”

Andaya said the complainant, Guillermo Sylianteng Jr., general manager of private printer Ready Forms Inc., has a dubious record in the printing industry.

Andaya said Sylianteng’s firm – which used to be a sub-contractor of NPO – was in fact “suspended and blacklisted” by his predecessors Enrique Gana and Servando Hizon in 2008 for five years, which was why he kept on harassing NPO officials.

“He wants to disenfranchise the NPO as the legitimate printing agency of the government, and allow his printing company to produce government’s accountable forms,” Andaya said. “The government will not risk counterfeit official receipts or land titles to proliferate. The accusations are all baseless, malicious and nothing but a figment of imagination of a printer who was obviously affected by the sudden turn of events,” he added.

Andaya said the NPO is authorized to “lease machines” under the Government Procurement Act (RA 9184).

“All the lease contracts underwent the required public bidding,” Andaya reiterated.

“NPO is no longer affected by the unfounded claims and harassments of Sylianteng, he has been maligning/smearing NPO officials since 2008, filed charges (60 cases) against NPO.”

The NPO is an attached agency of PCOO under Executive Order 4 that Coloma heads.   – With Sheila Crisostomo

 

ACIRC ANDAYA ANTONIO SILLONA BERNADETTE LAGUMEN AND MA COLOMA EMMANUEL ANDAYA ENRIQUE GANA AND SERVANDO HIZON EXECUTIVE ORDER GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT ACT NPO OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
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