SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY (SBMA) Chairman Martin B. Diño continues to defy Malacañang’s designation of SBMA OIC Administrator Randy B. Escolango.
This despite the reiteration by Malacañang that “the designation of Atty. Randy B. Escolango as Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Administrator, SBMA, has not been revoked by the Office of the President and thus remains in full force and effect.”
“That letter was a reminder only, so I can take it or leave it,” a visibly irked Diño told SBMA employees on Monday’s flag-raising ceremonies, referring to Malacañang’s letter telling him that Escolango is OIC Administrator.
Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Sr. of the Office of the President signed the letter dated Nov. 28, 2016, dismissing Diño’s unilateral assumption of the duties of the Administrator despite President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s appointment of him as SBMA Chairman only.
Malacañang, through Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea has designated Escolango as SBMA OIC Administrator on Oct. 19, 2016 but Diño has been continuously defying the designation, insisting that Medialdea’s signature is inferior to that of the President Duterte’s signature.
But Escolango has had enough of Diño’s antics and took to the microphone after Diño spoke and addressed the SBMA employees who gave him a resounding applause.
“This ends here and now,” Escolango said in Pilipino, “I was given a responsibility by Malacañang and I will perform as expected.”
Escolango has so far voided over 30 Office Orders and Memoranda issued by Diño for lack of authority, saying only the Administrator, albeit OIC, may take such actions.
Among the voided issuances of Dinõ are the appointments of some 14 high level consultants, many of whom are allegedly his relatives, and whose salaries and allowances could cost SBMA an additional up to some P2M a month.
Escolango also voided Diño’s, again, “self-appointment” as officer-in-charge (OIC) of SBMA’s Law Enforcement Department (LED) whose head, retired PNP general Orlando Maddela, has gone on terminal leave prior to retirement at the end of the year.
Diño, in an office memo, said he is the OIC head of LED, on top of his being chairman, emphasizing that “all privileges, benefits and emoluments entitled to the position must be enjoyed” by him, drawing flak from various sectors in the Freeport.
Understanding that the SBMA chairman’s functions are only in relation to the Board of Directors, the LED personnel led by Major Vicente J. Tolentino, OIC designate of Escolango at LED, vowed to act only “in accordance with the rules and regulations.”
Tolentino said LED personnel will only follow lawful orders and that Diño, who does not have administrative functions, will be respected as the SBMA chairman, but not recognized as the LED OIC, moreso, not as SBMA Administrator.
Earlier, the Subic Employees Association (SEA), has manifested their support for Escolango and called on Diño to respect Malacañang’s designation of Escolango as OIC Administrator.
“We hope Chairman Diño will set aside his personal ambition and honor Malacañang’s decision like a gentleman,” Elmer L. Libo, president of the close to a thousand strong members of SEA.
“It is unfortunate that in Chairman Diño’s obsession to arrogate upon himself the office and functions of the SBMA Administrator, he has resorted to flimsy and irrational arguments to the point of demeaning the Office of the President and Executive Secretary Medialdea, himself,” Escolango lamented.
“As for me, it’s work, work, work at the pleasure of the President,” Escolango said. “Chairman Diño is a distraction, but will not in any way stop what I am supposed to do to keep SBMA going.”
“He has done enough damage to the agency already, revenue and image-wise,” Escolango concluded, “it has to stop.”