Contempt raps set vs. CMWD officials for defying CSC order

The five-man board of the City of Malolos Water District (CMWD) are reportedly still trying desperately to take full control and act like private owners of said public utility firm despite several legal reversals it suffered from the Civil Service Commission.

The CSC is set to slap indirect contempt charges against the members of the CMWD board for their continuing open defiance of a series of lawful CSC orders for them to reinstate seven ranking officials whom they dismissed last year.

I wrote about the CMWD case in March this year when the firm’s board members fired in November last year CMWD general manager Nicasio “Boy” Reyes and six of his subordinates even before they could come up with an investigation and presentation of evidence to warrant their dismissal.

The policy-making board, who has no appointing or dismissing authority on rank and file employees, also worked for the dismissal of some CMWD employees who are identified or allies of Reyes and his men.

Since November last year, Reyes et. al. and the CMWD board filed charges and counter-charges against each other before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), with the former seeking reinstatement with full back wages.

On five separate dates, the CSC issued an order declaring as null and void the CMWD’s orders, resolutions and other issuances for the dismissal of Reyes and company. The CSC also ordered that the respondents be reinstated to their former posts with back wages from the time of their dismissal.

But the CMWD board, as of this date, has ignored and took no cognizance of the CSC orders. The board led by one Atty. Imelda Manalaysay had acted as the “accuser, judge and executioner” rolled into one against
Reyes and company.

The CSC, apparently fed up with the defiant CMWD board, issued a resolution dated September 23, 2010 asking the latter to explain in writing why they should not be held in contempt of the CSC for its refusal to implement the five earlier CSC resolutions in favor of Reyes The CSC gave the board five days within which to answer why they should not be cited for contempt. After seeking extensions, the CMWD board finally submitted their reply to the CSC only last November 11.

The CSC cited Section 4 of its resolution No. 07-1245 that could be slapped against the CMWD board members. It said the latter, individually, could be punished with a fine of P1 thousand per day for every
act of indirect contempt.

“Each day of defiance of, or disobedience to, or non-enforcement of a final order, resolution, decision, ruling, injunction or processes, shall constitute an indirect contempt of the Commission,” the CSC resolution stated.

Last Wednesday, armed with said CSC resolution and accompanied by representatives from the CSC, the local police and a legal officer of Malolos City mayor Christian Natividad, Reyes and company were reinstalled to their former posts at the CMWD.

Despite receipt of the latest CSC resolution, the defiant CMWD board again issued two resolutions both dated November 17, 2010 ordering all CMWD employees to deny Reyes and company access to the firm’s records and other documents and preventing them from performing their previous jobs and functions.

Reyes admits that the board may still have legal authority to issue orders and resolutions, but the latest board resolutions are also illegal, and again in defiance of the CSC’s September 23, 2010 resolution.

Malolos City Hall observers say the CMWD board’s acts and omissions are allegedly being orchestrated and manipulated by Atty. Manalaysay to the detriment of her fellow board members, employees and the firm’s operations.

Atty. Manalaysay, they said, must have forgotten, or deliberately ignored the lawyers’ oath when she became a member of the Bar, that she should obey all lawful orders and uphold all the laws of the land.

Other observers say that the 5-man CMWD board are now like drowning animals in an open sea gasping for air but are still trying desperately to hold on and take full control of the public utility firm that they thought they personally own and manage.


For feedback and comments, please email me at Romie Evangelista

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