Joe threatens to sue city treasurer

From L-R: Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe” Espinosa III and City Treasurer Jinny Hermano (Photos from RMN-Iloilo and Iloilo City Government’s Facebook pages)

Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe” Espinosa III has warned that he will file charges against City Treasurer Jinny Hermano if the latter continues to refuse signing the payrolls of “excess” city hall job hires.

There is no reason, according to Espinosa, for Hermano not to release the job hires’ salaries because the Internal Audit Services (IAS) Office said that the city government has enough funds.

“I will take legal action against him,” the mayor told reporters.

Espinosa said Hermano may be held liable for insubornation for defying his order.

Last week, the mayor issued Memorandum Order No. 54 directing Hermano to explain the returned payrolls to his office.

“Our legal office has its opinion and it’s valid, and can guide the executive in actions. Kon maghambal legal office, the city can pay, everyone should comply. You are not over  the law,” Espinosa said.

Based on the audit report presented by the IAS headed by Atty. Joan Montaño-Pallada, collections for the months of January to February far exceeded the disbursement covering the January 1 to March 14, 2019 period.

The IAS’ computation showed that the city has cash balance available for operation amounting to P388.704 million, and time bank deposits totaling P519, 123, 162.01.

“It has a maturity period of 91-92 days and can be pre-terminated in case of necessity. This is a cash back-up that is readily available to the LGU,” said Montaño-Pallada.

The city also has two more bank deposits amounting to P1.5 billion and P18.071 million.

The IAS said the City Treasurer’s Office should maximize its collection effort and exhaust all possible means to increase its collection, as well as review and monitor its revenue collection regularly.

Meanwhile, Espinosa hoped that politics has nothing to do with Hermano’s actions.

“I dunno ngaa gulpi lang nag inamo sini. Ang mahambal ko lang ya kontraha niyo lang si Joe III pero ang sweldo ya sang empleyado kag naobrahan na, give it to them kay ginahulat na ya sang pamilya. Para pa na sa kalan-on kag gatas sang bata kag apo nila,” he said.

Hermano, on the other hand, maintained his decision not to pay the job hires.

“As is gihapon akon stand,” he said.

Ang basehan sang akon opisina nga indi magbayad kay sobra sa allocation. Kung sobra sa allocation lapaw sa appropriation sa reenacted budget, wala basis ang opisina sa pagbayad sang sobra,” Hermano explained.

Hermano added that assuming that the city has money, still it’s not intended for excess job hires.

Hermano also denied that his decision was influenced by politics.

“I am just doing my job. Wala sang pultika sa likod sini, 100 percent. I am just standing on my bound duty nga protektahan ang pondo sang banwa, amo man lang na akon,” he stressed.IMT