By NITZ ARANCON
THREE councilors yesterday admitted having their relatives as staff members, confirming claims made by Councilor Lordan Suan that members of the city’s legislature have been providing work for their family members.
Another councilor, Maria Lourdes Gaane, denied having any family member in her staff.
The councilors who admitted to having relatives as staff members are Enrico Salcedo, Teodulfo Lao Jr., and George Goking.
Salcedo and Lao said they have one sibling each in their staff while Goking disclosed that he took his daughter in and entrusted her with responsibilities in his office.
The councilors said they were not keeping this information from the public because there was nothing to be ashamed of given that their relatives are working “job orders,” and not “15/30” workers. They also said each of them needed at least one staff member who they could really trust with delicate matters.
Salcedo gave another reason for providing work to his sister: “Pobre gud kaayo akong igsoon ug nagkinahanglan ug trabaho. Ma-o nang ako siyang gikuha as ‘job order.’”
Salcedo said Suan was wrong in comparing his case with the other councilors’ because their “job orders” are not “ghost employees.”
He questioned Suan’s “job order” list, saying the opposition councilor recommended more than one relative for “job order” positions even as he noted that the recommendees were not impoverished.
Suan’s “job order” recommendees included his father Agapito Jr., mother Clarissa Mae (not sister as reported earlier), younger brother Agapito Eriberto Suan, uncles Eriberto Gualberto Jr. and Ramon Gualberto, aunt Annaliza Mae Diaz, cousin Josephine Padios, and Henry Rago, allegedly the father of his girlfriend.
Salcedo said Suan has to give a good reason why he had many family members in his list of recommendees when they are known to be rich people.
“Kinsa man si Agapito Suan Jr. nga sapi-an na man kaayo na siya?” Salcedo asked rhetorically. He said it was unlikely for Agapito Jr. to report for daily work at the city council.
He said Suan’s father Agapito Jr. is the same businessman who built an overpass across CM Recto Ave. near the flyover on the condition that it could be used for an outdoor advertising business.
“Sapi-an… mao na nga dili na angayan nga i-hire pa ni Kagawad Suan ang iyang papa as ‘job order’ kay dato na man na sila,” he said.
Salcedo also called Suan’s act of asking Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy to approve the appointment of the recommendees as “garapalan.”
Salcedo said he doubted if Suan’s father was interested in collecting in a P408-daily wage from city hall, excluding weekends.
“Daginoton pa lugar na ni Agapito Suan Jr. nang P408 nga kasapi-an na ana niya?” Salcedo asked rhetorically.
He said Councilor Suan’s act was similar to what former councilor Alexander Dacer allegedly did when he was still serving in the city council. Salcedo alleged that Dacer turned his wife into a “job order.”
Councilor Lao, for his part, said he asked his sister to be his secretary.
“I believe that the position is for someone who I fully trust,” Lao said.
Councilor Goking also said he took his daughter in as a “job order” staff member because she has his full confidence.
But Goking said one family member is enough.
“Tungod sa akong gibaton nga delicadeza, usa ra ka sakop sa akong pamilya ang akong ‘job order,’” he said.
Goking said his other “job order” slots were given to poor but qualified people who know how to work.
“Mga working ‘job order’ ning akong staff dili kay ayha ra motunga kon ting suweldo na. Kini sila motrabaho gyud,” Goking said.
Meanwhile, Councilor Gaane said none of her relatives are working under her as “job orders” but she revealed that her staff members include friends who she can trust, and who really needed work.