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Opinion: An Open Letter To Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco 

August 9, 2016
 
Hon. Maria Isabelle G. Climaco
City Mayor
Zamboanga City
 
Dear Mayor Beng,
 
I have a complaint against the unethical and unprofessional behavior of a certain employee (or public official) of the City Human Resource Management Office (CHRMO) of the City Hall of Zamboanga.
 
This is in relation to their so-called Qualifying Exam scheduled on August 6, 2016, Saturday at Zamboanga City High School Main in Tetuan of which I was required to take as an additional requisite to my application. By the way, I am an LLB graduate from WMSU and a Career Service Professional eligible.
 
It has always been my dream to serve in the government of which I currently submitted an application for a certain vacant position — Local Legislative Staff Officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod last January 7, 2016.
 
I was not able to take the exam on that day of August 6, 2016 because I was informed only on Friday, August 5 on 2 p.m. through text message which is 17 hours before the exam proper.
 
By such a dubitable conduct on their part, I was instead expecting something like from a prompt and professional government employee or government official in charge thereof to inform the applicants at least 3 days ahead of the exam schedule so that the latter will be able to sufficiently prepare himself or herself mentally, physically and psychologically for the ensuing ordeal.
 
Ergo, I was not able to do these so-called preparations because I was restlessly pondering in the evening of August 5 which is “ora-orada” or in the last minute on how to commute from Upper Calarian to Tetuan considering the difficulty of taking two jeepney rides for an uncertain number of road and traffic hours in order to get to the Qualifying Examination venue because there’s not much of those passenger jeepneys roaming around early in the morning of a Saturday here in Katatagan Village, Upper Calarian.
 
I was informed that the exam is from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. of which I was lately re-informed at 6:38 a.m. in the morning of August 6 via a cellphone call from a certain “JULIE” of CHRMO that 7 a.m. is only the assembly time. She didn’t give me her full name and position upon my asking.
 
I believe that I was deprived of my right to have an equal opportunity to prove and to qualify myself in order to be employed in the government service. In retrospect, I am already qualified since I do have a Career Service Professional eligibility.
 
What really does not make sense in here is this stumbling block called “Qualifying Exam” from the CHRMO of the City Hall of Zamboanga.
 
Mayor Beng Climaco, I hope I can meet you in person so that I can show to you the text message which will substantiate as evidence of such inadvertence by this CHRMO employee/official of which she only gave me her first name and to think out loudly that we do have an Executive Order right now on the Freedom of Information which I could legally invoke if she does not state her real name and position to me.
 
It pains me much that they have only acted on my application seven months after January 2016 which was their last call on my cellphone number of which I surmised that I do not have any slim chance of a guarantee that they will ever call me again to take the exam after the lapse of such a long period of time.
 
Yes, I do understand that there is a previous election ban, but don’t they have any COURTESY and ETHICAL CONSIDERATION in informing the prospective applicants 3 days ahead of the exam schedule that the said awaiting applicants are CONFIRMED and on the go to be allowed to take the Qualifying Exam?
 
It just seems like I received this last minute text message like mushrooms sprouting out of nowhere. Indeed, any person of ordinary prudence will agree that such an act or practice of informing 3 days ahead of exam schedule is reasonable and fair enough of a time for some mental, physical, and psychological preparation.
 
To sum up my point, I believe that there is a clear injustice and grave abuse of discretion committed in here to the detriment of those applicants who are similarly situated like me – of being informed just 17 hours (or less) prior to the exam as well as the consequent sleepless night, mental anguish, and psychological stress of visualizing and planning on how to commute when you are coming from a barangay which is two jeepney rides far away from ZCHS Tetuan campus on an early Saturday “jeepneyless” morning. This is in itself constitutes an actual controversy. (Pardon my interjection)
 
I do hope that this respondent CHRMO employee (or CHRMO official since I wasn’t able to ask what her position is) is aware of and familiar with the whole provision of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6713 as well as Section 1, Rule II of the Rules Implementing RA 6713 to wit: “These Rules shall be interpreted in the light of the Declaration of Policy found in Section 2 of the Code: “It is the policy of the State to promote a high standard of ethics in public service.Public officials and employees shall at all times be accountable to the people and shall discharge their duties with utmost responsibility, integrity, competence and loyalty, act with patriotism and justice, lead modest lives, and uphold public interest over personal interest” in relation to the corresponding Section 1, Rule V of the same IRR of RA 6713.
 
I was led to the belief that this present administration would be more accommodating in accepting applicants as I was apprised by what are being shown in the news and current events from our local mass media nowadays stating that the government service now encourages every citizen to apply to them for employment.
 
However, I wanted to believe it is otherwise after experiencing this predicament I am into right now. And hope that this complaint won’t reach President Duterte unless if nobody else takes this seriously.
 
Let me end this letter with a quote from an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, Desiderio P. Jurado: “Is abuse of rights actionable? Yes, abuse of rights is actionable. This is clear from the provision of Article 19 of the New Civil Code, which declares that “every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.”
 
The principle of abuse of rights is based upon the famous maxim suum jus summa injuria (the abuse of a right is the greatest possible wrong).”
 
Very truly yours,
Fernan R. Soria
(Signed)

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