(UPDATED — 5:27 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has “discontinued” the service of Development Academy of the Philippines President and CEO Elba Siscar Cruz after her term as part of the DAP Board of Trustees expired on June 30.
This follows the recent petition of the DAP Personnel Association (DAPPER) for Duterte to remove Cruz from the government’s research and training institution, where she had been accused of allegedly lacking the knowledge and temperament to lead the organization, of silencing employees through threats of removal, and of frequent travels abroad that prevented her from doing her work.
In a December 18 letter addressed to Cruz from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, a copy of which was furnished to InterAksyon by DAPPER, she was also directed “to turn over all official documents, papers, and properties in (her) possession to the proper office of the DAP.”
Cruz was appointed as member of the DAP Board on March 14 to “serve the unexpired Term of Office that began on 01 July 2016 and ended on 30 June 2017,” the letter said.
In a press release sent by Cruz’s representative, DAP Vice President for Marketing, Branding and Promotions Leodegario Manio, the DAP chief said she continued to support and believe in Duterte, and “will always obey the wishes of the Republic of the Philippines.”
She added that “she serves under the pleasure of the Philippine President.”
At the same time, she accused “disgruntled employees of DAP” as “plotting her downfall” as early as one month after she assumed office.
Nevertheless, the public was assured that “the Academy’s programs and operations will function as they should, regardless of the political uncertainty that the institution is presently experiencing.”
Meanwhile, DAPPER thanked Duterte for giving them “the best Christmas gift”.
In a press release, they called for “unity and immediate restoration of order in DAP,” and stressed that they will “remain vigilant and steadfast in guarding the best interest of DAP and the welfare of employees.”
The standoff between Cruz and the employees’ association began last week, when the latter held a press conference and a candle-lighting ceremony and circulated a petition to seek Cruz’s removal.
In response, Cruz issued a show cause order to the head of the association accusing its members of disrupting public services through the activities they held.
She also answered their accusations by saying that her travels were “mostly” work-related and that no “unnecessary travel expenses” were incurred.
DAPPER also alleged that since Cruz took over in April 2017, there had been a number of unauthorized restructuring and creation of offices at DAP, resulting in the displacement of permanent Civil Service Commission (CSC) appointees, and more costs.
They also claimed that there were numerous gross and deliberate violations of CSC rules due to the designation of non-plantilla personnel to supervise plantilla personnel; arbitrary and forced personnel movements tantamount to constructive dismissal; and appointment of unqualified personnel.
In another press release sent over the weekend by Manio, the “disgruntled employees” were labeled as “destabilizers” who “took advantage of a rumor of mass termination of employees at DAP.”
The truth was, according to the statement, DAP is “considering all personnel in the context of class promotion, from contractual to co-terminus and permanency.”
It was also announced last Monday that, “after months of (a) systems-wide evaluation program through the initiative and leadership of Atty. Cruz, DAP has made a landmark action by officially converting the status and promoting around 150 people.”
As for Cruz’s qualifications for the post, a separate press release from Manio noted that she is “a multi-disciplinary professional in project development, human and asset resource management, (and) legal education and practice.”