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40 protesting govt workers in Pampanga sacked

August 11, 2008 10:37pm

Tags: Pampanga
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio dismissed 40 protesting government workers after they staged a picket outside the Capitol building here Monday morning. The workers called for the ouster of lawyer Vivian Dabu, acting provincial administrator.

Panlilio also ordered Senior Superintendent Keith Ernald Singian, provincial police director, to disperse the protesters.

Archie Reyes, Panlilio’s chief of staff who resigned August 1, said some 60 protesters were holding a “very very peaceful rally" in front of the building “to express their grievances" when the governor ordered the dispersal.

Reyes called on members of the media upon learning of the dispersal order from Singian.

Members of BALAS (Biyaya A Luluguran At Sisikapan), the committee tasked to monitor the collection of quarry fees in the province, earlier called for the resignation of Dabu.

BALAS members said they are willing to go on an indefinite fast outside the capitol building until their demands were met, but they were prevailed upon by Panlilio after a dialogue.

The group led by Eduard De Leon held another picket after failing to convince Panlilio to let go of Dabu. De Leon said they were protesting Dabu’s move to demote, and eventually terminate, some 50 BALAS members.

Dabu, however, said the workers were terminated due to some anomalies.

De Leon and seven others were part of the workers who were earlier demoted by Dabu.

Dabu invoked the civil service provision which bars government workers from joining strikes. She said those who joined the protest action are automatically dismissed from the service.

Dabu said the quarry operation, which raised a P230 million revenue in 12 months, has to be turned into an economic enterprise upon the advise of the Department of Budget and Management last April.

Dabu said BALAS is only a monitoring task force, adding that it is still the Provincial Treasurer’s Office that has the responsibility to collect fees. – Ashley Manabat, GMANews.TV
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Tags: Pampanga