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Court summons Gov. Tan for Mandamus

April 11, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The petitioners representing the Alliance of Concerned Employees (ACES) of the Provincial Government of Samar are triumphant over the issuance of a summon by the OIC Clerk of Court, Ms. Maria Raz Gloria, on the class suit that they have filed against Governor Milagrosa T. Tan of Samar province.

Samar governor Milagrosa Tan
Governor Milagrosa Tan

The case, docketed as Spl. Civil Case No. 36 for Mandamus, was received by the Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC’s Branch 41 in Gandara, Samar on March 26, 2010.

Acting on the petition filed by Roque L. Limse, Luis Padol, Renato B.Basal, Ruel C. Aying, Catalina M. Saises and Evelyn B. Domingo, the Court has ordered Samar Gov. Milagrosa T. Tan, the respondent, to file her answer five (5) days immediately after the service of the said summon.

Based on the petition, on January 7, 2010, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Samar enacted Ordinance No. 12-28, series of 2010 appropriating the amount of P25 Million for the payment of the grant of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) for the Fiscal Year 2009 of all provincial government employees of the Province of Samar at P25,000 each, pursuant to DBM Budget circular No. 2009-5, dated December 15, 2009.

Accordingly, the said ordinance was deemed approved pursuant to the provision of Section 54(b) of RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, considering that Hon. Milagrosa T. Tan did not either veto it or return it to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan within fifteen (15) days from its submission to her for approval.

Furthermore, the petitioners assert that Ordinance No. 12-28 has not been either repealed or nullified by any proper court or any government office or entity, thereby its validity and affectivity for all legal intents and purposes are obviously beyond doubts.

Likewise, their claim was reinforced by the issuance of a certification as to the availability of funds by the Provincial Treasurer. It was learned that the corresponding vouchers and checks has been signed and approved for the release of funds from the Landbank, Catbalogan. However, the records showed that Gov. Tan refused and failed to sign and approve the same checks, notwithstanding that the payment of the subject PEI benefits are authorized under a valid and effective ordinance and funds are available.

On these accounts, the petitioners have no option left to speedily demand and receive the PEI payments as a right, but the instant petition for mandamus.

In the same suit, the petitioners believe that the respondent’s acts were unjustified, capricious, whimsical and deliberate. In the end, they prayed that a Writ of Mandamus be issued to Gov. Tan to immediately pay them the PEI mandated in Ordinance No 12-28, the amount of P60,000 as attorney’s acceptance fee and the cost of suit.

With the case already filed in a proper venue, the ACES has temporarily refrained from holding more protest actions. Mass rallies were held in Calbayog, Basey and Catbalogan a few weeks ago. The same street protests that demanded for better services and a transparent leadership from the Tans, were given massive support by the Samareños.