Ledesma Aide Denies Hand In Non-passage Of Budget For SalBen JOs

A close aide of outgoing Rep. Julio Ledesma IV (1st district) denied that he is the one behind the non-passage of the budget of job-order employees of Salvador Benedicto.

Mariano Antonio Cui yesterday said that some members of the town’s Sanggunian Bayan went to him to ask for a lawyer.

Cui said that the lawyer attended the SB session and advised them what to do.

“Where am I involved with that?’ he asked.

Cui was reacting to the accusations of outgoing Salvador Benedicto Mayor Jomax Ortiz that the SB members were taking orders from him.

Ortiz claimed their is inaction of the SB on the budget for the salaries of the job order employees since February to June this year.

The Mayor added that the municipal councilors have not held their regular sessions for six weeks despite protests and pleas of the JO workers.

“It is tantamount to dereliction of duty,” Ortiz said.

He confirmed that the about 150-200 JO workers went to the different radio stations here as well as to a local television station to air their grievances.

The JOs’ salaries amounted to P7 million which, he said, until now remains unappropriated.

Ortiz added that the operation of the municipal government is also affected.

He stressed that most of the Job Order workers are engaged in the delivery of basic services for the people of the locality.

He fears there will be unrest if the JOs’ salaries remain unpaid.

“I have done my part as the mayor, it is now up to the Sangguniang Bayan to release the P7-8 million budget for the salaries of the JOs,” Ortiz stressed.

He called on the councilors to “use their common sense and dispose of their mandated duties.”

He added that the municipal council can release the salaries of the JO workers through a supplemental budget.

Ortiz claimed that what the councilors are doing is politically motivated as the majority of councilors belong to the group of businessman Monet Lacson, his former political ally.

Lacson who was endorsed by Ledesma camp ran for mayor against Ortiz who sought re-election, but was also challenged by former mayor Marxlen de la Cruz. Both Ortiz and Lacson lost to de la Cruz in the May 9, 2016 elections.*



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