MANILA, Philippines – The lead convenor of a social reform advocate group Solidarity for Sovereignty (SFS) has filed Monday (18 November 2019) administrative cases for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) against Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
In filing the case against Bello with the PACC, SFS chairman Adolfo Paglinawan stressed that the labor secretary’s “excessive trips abroad in recent months” were estimated to have cost the Philippine government at least P4 million which are basically “non-essential and did not redound to the benefit of the government and the people.”
The complainant, who is also a radio commentator, also accused Bello of making a secret trip to the Netherlands to rendezvous and secretly meet Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Joma Sison in July 2018 despite a Malacanang order allegedly prohibiting him from further engagement with the CPP-NPA-NDF in peace talks pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 360.
In an effort at addressing the said issue, Bello III appeared on radio and told DZRH on Friday the “Joma Sison meeting was under the instructions of President Duterte.”
Bello also claimed his trips abroad were official in nature authorized by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
However, the SFS convenor countered that President Duterte had no personal knowledge about his meeting with Joma Sison and Bello might “be incriminating the President on his personal treason.”
“In short, the labor secretary (Bello) wants the President to take the sword for him,” clarified Paglinawan in Monday’s press conference in Intramuros.
Paglinawan also pointed out that “Bello’s assertion reeks in disloyalty to the country’s Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief just to save his skin.”
It may be recalled last November 6, 2019 Paglinawan also filed a compendium of at least 10 graft and corruption cases against Bello along with three other labor officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.
As a parting shot, Paglinawan challenged the labor secretary to come up clean and show evidences and documents that will prove President Duterte has indeed authorized his excessive trips abroad. (LLOYD TAGBAGO/IAMIGO/CNS)