By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Lacson on Thursday declined to further discuss the case of a capitol executive who was reportedly terminated for Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL).
“It is my policy not to discuss this case in public, there is always a proper forum for that,” Lacson said.
Earlier, Lacson issued an order dropping Capitol department head Ma. Lina Sanogal from the roll of employees for having been absent since March 18, 2022.
In Executive Order No. 22-23, series of 2022, Lacson said the prolonged unauthorized absence of Sanogal “hampered the operation of the provincial government and proved to be prejudicial to public service.”
Lacson also said Sanogal has not submitted her daily time record for the month of March onwards, per the May 19, 2022 certification issued by Zara Jane Chan, Officer In Charge of the Provincial Planning and Development Office Administrative Division.
Citing a memorandum circular issued by the Civil Service Commission, Lacson said “an official or employee who is continuously absent without official leave (AWOL) for at least thirty (30) working days shall be separated from the service, or dropped from the rolls, without prior notice.”
Sanogal was reassigned to the Office of the Governor on March 15, 2022, and her position as Provincial Planning and Development Office head was temporarily taken over by Ana Marie Lucasan, in lieu of her retirement from the government service.
On April 5, Sanogal filed a complaint against Lacson and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
A separate complaint was also filed against Lacson before the Civil Service Commission.
In her complaint, Sanogal claimed that on March 15, 2022, which is within the prohibition period set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Lacson and Diaz issued Office Order No. 03-15-0104 series of 2022 reassigning her to the Office of the Governor to attend to special administrative concerns, effective immediately.
But Lacson justified Sanogal’s transfer saying that it was approved by the Comelec.
Sanogal said marking her as AWOL was already moot and academic as she had already filed a case of constructive dismissal before the CSC.
Sanogal also filed complaints against Lacson and Diaz for alleged oppression and grave abuse of authority before the Ombudsman.