Administration presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd stood as “ninong” (godfather) to five of the nine members of the board of the Social Security System (SSS), The Manila Times learned on Friday.
Jose Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), said the five officials were closely connected to Roxas in various capacities.
Matula, a veteran labor lawyer, said Emilio de Quiros was a strong supporter of the Liberal Party (LP), Roxas’ political party. De Quiros is the brother of PDI columnist Conrado de Quiros.
SSS records show that he is receiving double compensation worth more than P6 million per year for being president and chief executive officer and member of the board.
Juan Santos, SSS chairman of the board, is a close friend of Roxas, Matula said. Santos was also a former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary like Roxas.
Roxas was also the “ninong” of Ibarra Malonzo who represents the labor sector in the SSS board. Malonzo is the LP’s vice-president for the labor sector.
Another Roxas man according to Matula is Commissioner Danilo Edralin, who made it to the SSS board due to the alliance of the Akbayan partylist and LP. Akbayan threw its full support to the Aquino-Roxas tandem during the 2010 elections.
The same goes for Eva Arcos of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) because TUCP endorsed Aquino and Roxas in the 2010 elections, Matula said.
The most important of the SSS board members according to Matula, is Eliza Bettina Antonino, who was Roxas’ ‘special girl’, having served as his chief of staff at the Senate and DTI.
Antonino became SSS commissioner after Aquino won the presidency. She is reportedly active in Roxas’ campaign sorties.
Matula said that aside from the P3 million in annual salary, each member of the SSS board also receives P40,000 as “honorarium” per meeting.
Before De Quiros came in, the honorarium was pegged at P2,500 per meeting, he said.
On top of that, the board members including the other top officials receive millions of bonuses apparently due to “good performance.”
Matula said the FFW could not understand why the SSS board could not tell President Aquino to issue a green light on the across-the-board P2,000 increase on the monthly benefit of around 1.8 million SSS pensioners, while they receive millions in salaries and bonuses.