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Ateneo chief librarian wants Ombudsman to probe appointment of NLP head

The chief of the Ateneo de Manila University Rizal Library has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the alleged appointment of a non-librarian as director of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP).

In a letter received by the Ombudsman's records office on January 19, Vernon Totanes asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to conduct an investigation on the allegedly unlawful appointment of Ceasar Gilbert Adriano as NLP head.

Citing the statement of the Philippine Librarian's Association Inc. (PLAI), Totanes said he expected President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint a licensed librarian on the post vacated by the late Antonio Santos.

He said the PLAI was concerned upon learning the appointment of Adriano, who is not a licensed librarian, upon verification from the Professional Regulation Commission on March 17, 2017.

"We are deeply concerned about the implications of the appointment of a non-librarian as director of the NLP, who may be qualified in all other respects except for what we consider the most basic one: that the appointee be a licensed librarian," Totanes said.

He warned Morales that Adriano's post may cause a precedent of other non-qualified librarians in other government agencies.

"The appointment of a non-librarian to the highest post in the highest library in the country may have an adverse effect in that other government agencies may take this as precedent to the appointment of non-librarians in their own institutions," Totanes said.

Totanes further said the appointment of Adriano is criminally liable under several provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Totanes claimed that he has no interest in the post of Adriano, saying his interest "lies in safeguarding and defending our noble profession, with the same zeal in the same spirit that the Philippines recognized it."

Under Ombudsman regulations, a letter is only considered a formal complaint if an aggrieved party submits a verified complaint-affidavit and supporting documents, and a verified Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping under oath.

Letters or complaints also undergo an evaluation process before a fact-finding investigation is recommended or whether it will be forwarded to other appropriate agencies.

GMA News Online was still reaching out to Adriano for his comment as of posting time. —KBK, GMA News