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Lacson directs HRMO to file counter affidavit

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has directed the provincial government’s human resource management officer (HRMO) to file a counter affidavit to administrative complaints lodged against her by the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE), Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Wednesday, July 7.

PACE wants Annabelle Palic, who was transferred to the Office of the Governor amid numerous complaints against her, removed from office, its chairman Renelo Lastierre said Tuesday.

The administrative complaints filed against Palic before the Office of the Governor were for alleged acts of oppression, acts prejudicial to the public interest, and grave abuse of discretion.

She allegedly deprived provincial government employees hit with COVID-19 of leave credits, caused the delay of salaries of job order workers, and made it difficult for retirees to process their benefits.

Diaz said the governor signed a letter Wednesday afternoon informing Palic of the charges against her and asking her to submit a counter-affidavit.

The PACE complaint was forwarded to the Provincial Legal Office because it was sufficient in form and substance, Diaz said, noting that it was accompanied by sworn affidavits of the complainants.

It will have to be determined if Palic should be subjected to preventive suspension, he added.

The nature of the complaints are grave and a possible penalty could be dismissal from office, Diaz said.

Palic would then have the option to file an appeal before the Civil Service Commission, Diaz said.

On PACE also filing an administrative and criminal complaint against Palic before the Office of the Ombudsman – Visayas, Diaz said administrative cases are the primary jurisdiction of the province.

However, if the Ombudsman takes cognizance of criminal and administrative proceedings the province will give way to the Ombudsman, he added.

Palic could not be reached for comment.*

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