OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales: The battle for the post of administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone has reached the court here as aspirants fight it out for the much-coveted post.
After newly-appointed SBMA Chairman Martin Diño issued on October 10 a memorandum informing SBMA personnel of his official assumption not only as chairman but also as administrator and chief executive officer (CEO), an executive assistant to Zambales Vice Gov. Angel Magsaysay recently filed a petition seeking an injunction as well as the annulment of the Executive Order (EO) from Malacañang that paved the way for the appointment of separate officials for the positions of SBMA chairman and administrator.
Rolly Meer Aldea named the executive secretary and the SBMA through its chairman or administrator as respondents.
Meanwhile, SBMA deputy administrator for legal affairs Randy Escolango on Friday issued Office Order No. 1 announcing his designation as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the SBMA Office of the Administrator.
Escolango cited an order dated October 19 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea designating him as OIC.
“In the exigency of service and to ensure uninterrupted delivery of public service, please be informed that you are hereby designated Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Administrator Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority effective immediately,” Medialdea’s memorandum to Escolango said.
Escolango’s designation was welcomed here supposedly because the SBMA’s deputy administrator for legal affairs is well qualified to handle the job.
The move elicited a reaction from PDP-Laban Zambales head Michael Macapagal, who has been vocal in vouching for a local party mate and lobbying strongly for his brother Marvin Macapagal for the SBMA administrator post.
Michael issued a statement to the media on Saturday, saying he wants a local leader appointed as SBMA administrator.
He insisted the position remains vacant to this day despite Diño already assuming the post.
Diño said with his appointment as chairman, he is duty-bound to assume and perform the duties, powers and functions of the chairman/administrator and CEO, pursuant to the law.
Aldea’s October 11 petition seeks to enjoin respondents from appointing an SBMA administrator, saying there is already someone occupying the position.
“Mr. Diño as chairman is also the administrator of SBMA,” the petition maintained, “pursuant to Republic Act 7227.”
It added that implementation of EO 340, particularly the act of appointing an SBMA administrator, “is a violation of the law.”
Issued in 2004 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the executive order empowers the President to split the chairman/administrator post and appoint a chairman and another person as administrator.