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TUCP statement on the attempted power grab on TUCP presidency

Press Release
January 26, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  A desperate and discredited minority of the General Council of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) tried but failed to grab power from the duly constituted officials and take over the compound last night.

A minority faction of the TUCP council led by former TUCP Secretary-General and former Senator Ernesto “Boy” Herrera attempted to forcibly enter the TUCP premises last night, a day after the General Council formally voted him out as TUCP Secretary-General due to an externally audited discovery of large sums of financial anomalies, loss of confidence and gross mismanagement of TUCP affairs during his tenure.

He was replaced by Mr. Victorino Balais, president of Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO) by the TUCP General Council on January 24, 2012. PTGWO is one of the biggest labor federations in the country and has been a member of the TUCP since its founding in 1975.

Mr. Herrera’s action last night in trying to take over the TUCP compound was a clear attempt to take custody of damning financial records on his handling of TUCP grants and general funds. We believe that he intended to white wash his involvement in the handling of these funds. He was accompanied by TUCP former Vice President Roberto “Bobby” Flores.

But due to the timely arrival and continued presence of the police from the Quezon City Police District Station 9, his attempt to cover up his malfeasance of these funds and to perpetrate himself in power through a rump council and through a takeover of the compound without any General Council authority was thwarted.

In the light of this incident, incumbent TUCP President Atty. Democrito Mendoza hereby issues the following statement:

“The TUCP condemns the series of illegitimate acts and overt attempts of Mr. Herrera to grab power and arrogantly impose himself as the President of the TUCP.

His irrational behaviour last night magnified his embarrassing fall from grace. His actions show a reckless disregard in upholding the interest of the TUCP as he attempts to drag the entire organization into the mud with him.

On that regard, I would like to apologize to our social partners and supporters for the confusion as a result of his misrepresentation; and, to our brothers and sisters for the pain and anguish that Mr. Herrera has caused.

Mr. Herrera’s irresponsible behaviour will never be condoned by anyone from the TUCP. The TUCP General Council Resolution 01-2012, otherwise known as a resolution of confirmation of continuing support to me as President of the TUCP, and the TUCP Minutes of the General Council Meeting on January 24, 2012 will bear us out.

I tendered a letter of resignation as TUCP President on October 19, 2011 effective November 1, 2012 to bring up discussions on major transparency and accountability issues in TUCP. I later, retracted my resignation after the General Council refused to act on the letter and even as they pleaded for me to remain and continue as TUCP President.

However, now, Mr. Herrera wants to assume the presidency. He claims taking his oath of office on November 11, 2011 before Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and sent letters afterward to the Secretary of Labor, major international labor organizations and other agencies misrepresenting himself as the TUCP President.

He also set up a rump group of minority members of the TUCP General Council to inflate his ego. Let me reiterate that of 25 affiliates, 18 remain under our leadership in the TUCP.

The General Council has deemed these acts as illegitimate and acts of disloyalty inimical to the interest and earned reputation of TUCP. The General Council replaced Mr. Herrera with Brother Victorino Balais as Secretary-General of the TUCP on January 24, 2012. Mr. Balais is the president of the Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO).

On that regard, I wish to assure our supporters, partners, and affiliates that I am in control and in command of all the federations, offices and continue to enjoy the recognition and support of local and international organizations and governments. This is because of the trust reposed upon me by the majority of TUCP General Council, whom I will serve as President until December 2012.

I also wish to convey to the public that the good men and women in TUCP are doing their best in dealing with this issue for the sake of the highest best interest of the trade union movement in the Philippines.

Thank you very much.”