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Metro

No wages for Makati councilors, staff

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The members of the Makati City council and 83 personnel working under them had the release of their salaries suspended by acting Mayor Romulo Peña, a councilor said yesterday.

He refused to sign the checks that would cover their salaries and allowances for March 16 to 31, according to Councilor Marie Alethea Casal-Uy.

The affected officials and employees are in for a long wait: Peña has also returned, unsigned, the payroll for their salaries for April 1 to 15, she added.

Eight thousand city government employees received their salaries yesterday after Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. signed the vouchers. He has also signed the vouchers for the employees’ salaries next month.

The city councilors took Binay’s side when he was issued a six-month preventive suspension order in connection with a case filed against him with the Office of the Ombudsman on an allegedly overpriced city hall building.

Peña was sworn in as acting mayor on the same day as the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order stopping Binay’s suspension. The CA has ordered the ombudsman, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to explain their defiance of the TRO.

According to a statement from Binay’s office, Peña has returned unsigned two checks to the city’s treasury department, one for P927,545.20 for the salaries and personnel economic relief allowance of the councilors and staff, and the other for P144,500 as representation allowance of the councilors.

He has also refused to sign the payroll for the salaries of the councilors and their staff, which amount to P620,410.90, Binay’s office said.

Uy said Peña has “abandoned” his duty as vice mayor, which includes signing the payroll and checks of the councilors, their staff and those working in his own office.

“We appeal to Vice Mayor Peña to consider the welfare of the employees. Why is he doing this when all along he has been saying he will not hamper the release of salaries to city hall employees?” she said.

Peña, on the other hand, said he cannot officially sign the checks as he is no longer vice mayor but the acting mayor.

He suggested that the councilors appoint among themselves a presiding officer who could talk to the banks regarding the encashment of checks.

BINAY

COUNCILOR MARIE ALETHEA CASAL-UY

COURT OF APPEALS

INTERIOR SECRETARY MANUEL ROXAS

JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA

MAKATI CITY

MAYOR

MAYOR JEJOMAR ERWIN BINAY JR.

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