Governor addresses show cause orders leak

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson brushed off questions from the media about the latest show cause order against two of his executive assistants.

“You know, I’m just wondering how the media gets hold of this show cause order,” Lacson said.

He added, “That is the last thing I want, for the employees to be in the limelight for a show cause order.”

“It implies that you did something wrong, but this show cause order is actually for the employee to explain their actions,” Lacson continued. “It may sound strong, but it just gives you an opportunity to explain your side.”

When asked about the case of Executive Assistant IV Anthony Carlos Agustin, who was stripped of his post as Sports Coordinator and designated as Liaison Officer of the provincial government to the city government of Bacolod, Lacson responded, “It’s just a decision that the governor made.”

He added that regarding the post of Provincial Sports Coordinator, he would handle it directly.

When asked why Agustin was issued a show cause order and stripped of his post, Lacson said, “I will not go into the reason behind it. Suffice to say I made this decision and that will be the status now.”

In addition to Agustin, another executive assistant, Executive Assistant IV Francis Velez, was also issued a show cause order by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz.

When asked to comment on Velez’s case, Lacson reiterated his surprise at how the media obtained the show cause orders and declined to comment further.

Velez was asked to explain the withdrawal of several pieces of furniture from the Office of the Governor for repair without the governor’s authority.

“This action was taken without following the procurement process outlined in Republic Act (RA) 9184,” Diaz noted.

Records show that on June 25, Velez issued an Obligation Request for labor and materials for the repair of furniture at the Office of the Governor, including four long sofas, two small sofas, 12 visitor chairs, and four executive chairs with arms, amounting to PHP 129,200.

“This was done without any prior consultation with Gov. Lacson or his authority,” Diaz pointed out.

He also noted that based on comparative research of prevailing market prices, the items were overpriced, and no bidding was held.

Velez could be liable for alleged violations of RA 9184, the Procurement Law, and RA 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Velez declined to comment on the show cause order and has until yesterday (Monday) to submit his reply.

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