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City legal office insists: Department head’s reassignment legal

May B. Miasco/NSA (The Freeman) - December 31, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City’s legal arm has asked the Civil Service Commission-7 to set aside its decision granting the appeal of a former City Hall department head to be reinstated to his previous assignment.

Citing “malice” in his reassignment, William Artajo, concurrently head of the Operation Second Chance and also of the Cebu City Community Scouts Commission, wants to be back at the Management Information and Computer Services.

The City Legal Office, however, in its motion for reconsideration, insisted that the two questioned orders - (1) directing Artajo to report at Operation Second Chance on November 2014 and (2) assigning the same as the concurrent head of OSC and Cebu City Community Scouts Commission on December 2014 - “are valid and legal as they were done in the exigency of the service.”

“The appellant’s (Artajo) reassignment as the concurrent head of both the OSC and the CCCSC, which both deal with minors either in conflict with or in need of special protection of the law, are done in good faith and is never unreasonable, humiliating, or demeaning,” read the motion filed by City Hall lawyers Jerone Castillo and Bernard Garcia on December 28.

Earlier,  Artajo claimed that the order issued by suspended mayor Michael Rama designating him as concurrent head of the two offices is tainted with malice and bad faith considering that he is identified as a supporter of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, Rama’s rival political camp.

The City Hall lawyers argued that the questioned reassignment is presumed to be regular unless proven otherwise by Artajo with clear and convincing evidence since “malice can never be presumed.”

They also cited that Artajo had a two-year experience in running CCCSC and since OSC has the same nature of work– dealing with minors either in conflict with or in need of special protection of the law – Rama “deemed it best to direct him to be the concurrent head of both.”

“In the case at bar, there is simply no showing that the mayor’s act was tainted with ill-will or motive. On the contrary, what is clear is that the appellant’s main beef against his reassignment is in the geographical location of the two offices,” they said on Artajo’s claim that the task of going to OSC, located in Barangay Kalunasan, and to CCCSC in Barangay Duljo-Fatima, is difficult for his part with regards to travel time.

The lawyers insisted that the reassignment must be upheld, reminding Artajo that “public office is not about personal comfort.”

“The geographical location of the two offices may result to his personal discomfort, but in the higher interest of public service his personal inconvenience must give way,” they stated.  (FREEMAN)

 

 

ACIRC ARTAJO BANDO OSME BARANGAY DULJO-FATIMA BARANGAY KALUNASAN CEBU CITY CEBU CITY COMMUNITY SCOUTS COMMISSION CITY CITY HALL CITY LEGAL OFFICE OPERATION SECOND CHANCE
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