Labella also clarified that his other brother, Sinulog Foundation Director Jojo Labella, was hired by Vice Mayor Michael Rama because he is well versed in the Sinulog matters.
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Labella on nepotism: ‘I’m allowed seven but I just hired one’
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — From the dreamed realization of millions of jobs at the South Road Properties to the modernization of Carbon Public Market, the first 100 days report of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella heaped praises from supporters and allies.

But critics are asking the mayor – what about the issue on nepotism within his adminsitration?

The issue was raised by a Facebook page called Sugbu Republik, which accused Labella of prioritizing family members in the job vacancies at the City Hall.

“Mayor Labella apparently believes in hiring family members as a priority. Brother John Labella is secretary to the mayor. Jojo Labella, another brother, is a Sinulog Foundation director. The mayor's son, Jaypee, and wife Joycelyn act as if they are officials at the mayor's office,” the article posted by the page read.

To this end, Labella was quick to clarify that his relatives are not given preferential treatment in the jobs at the City Hall.

He denied such claims saying that he was, in fact, allowed to appoint seven family members but only appointed one.

He is pertaining to his brother John Labella whom he appointed as the secretary to the mayor, which is a “coterminous position and primarily confidential.”

“You can hire your wife, you can hire your brother, you can hire your son. Just like in the previous mga administration, basta primarily confidential. It’s not under the civil service, co-terminus na siya,” said Labella.

An appointment is co-terminus when it is issued to a person whose term is limited to a period specified by law or whose continuity in the service is based on the trust and confidence of the appointing officer.

“Kinsa may imong saligan, imong igsuon gyud (Who else would you trust, it’s really your brother),” said Labella.

Labella shared that he gives his 100 percent trust to his brother who has a doctoral degree from Princeton University in New Jersey.

“What more could you ask for…? I’m sure he can protect me,” he said.

Labella also clarified that his other brother, Sinulog Foundation Director Jojo Labella, was hired by Vice Mayor Michael Rama because he is well versed in the Sinulog matters.

The mayor also said that his wife, Joycelyn Labella, does not hold any position in the city.

He has also clarified that he did not remove any city employees from their positions.

“Members of the staff are appointed by the vice mayor. Under the Sangguniang Panlungsod, it is the vice mayor who is the head of the SP and all the employees in SP, especially those staff under the office of a particular councilor is being appointed by the vice mayor,” he said. (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA
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