Opinion: Sheriff Bert Muñoz - How Can You Do Such a Do?
THE OBLIQUE CULTURE OF BERT MUÑOZ. We are forced to raise issues against DOLE Sheriff Bert Muñoz, brother of Victorias Police Chief, Supt. Alexander Muñozbecause his “ganta of rice”, so to speak, or “his water container is already overflowing.” By overflowing, we mean he should now be taken to task for his actuations as sheriff and this is not because of his personal predilections, but because we have been told so many complaints about and against him in line with his obligations as a sheriff. And on this score, we have received overflowing complaints against him.
if we only believed what we have been told of things about him, from the Sipalay mines workers who had filed a case against operator Teodoro Bernardino and lately in the case of workers in the hacienda of Benito Malan, a sugar planter, in Hda. Aluciman-Malan, a 20-hectare landholding in Talisay City.
In short, the workers won a case, a labor case they filed against Malan with the DOLE for differentials and for other violations of mandated labor laws with lawyer Rey Gorgonio as the legal counsel of the workers.
EIGHT YEARS IN THE MAKING. As the workers told it, the case started eight years ago in 2002. And to make the story short, they won it before the DOLE’s labor arbiter. The labor arbiter, therefore, ordered Malan to pay his workers a total of more than P150,000 but since there were many of the workers, each one would receive merely P8,000 each which is not really enough for one’s monthly needs. But the workers would now like to avail of the money as school opening is soon coming and they need it for basic school needs of their children. One worker also urgently needs it to pay for the hospital bills of his wife, including food needs of the family.
But the workers have complained that DOLE Sheriff Bert Muñoz has not complied or is not complying with the med-arbiter’s order, making all sorts of excuses to delay payments of money which had been awarded legally to the workers. On many occasions, he has come up with all sorts of excuses such as that he is in the hospital as he is sick, is either out on many missions for this and that and like another sheriff is simply delaying the process of payment because it is presumed that the workers are vulnerable to sickness and hunger would settle for less than what the med-arbiter has ruled in terms of the payment that they were given.
DAX VILLANUEVA IN COLLABORATION? Assistant Regional DOLE Director Dax Villaruel appears to be in collaboration with the court sheriff. One wonders if he is not in cahoots with Muñoz. Talks are that he does. From the workers of many farms which have pending cases in the DOLE, the names of Muñoz and Villaruel always crop up. Another sheriff’s name has since years ago also surfaced, including that of an arbiter. We will detail this letter.
These people need slaps in the wrist because they are exploitative, oppressive and prone to “negotiations not only with the complainants but with the one complained against. In fact, legal counsel Rey Gorgonio bared that Muñoz, along with Malan went to him and offered him cash for his “services”. In short, they were allegedly buying off the guy.
This is among the reasons why we will not stop our advocacy for good
governance. There are many scoundrels and scalawags in government. They need to
be whipped in order to comply with President Benigno Aquino III’s “Matuwid na
daan” exhortations. Tell you me. But, indeed!*