By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY – The betrayal of public trust is evident in the personality of First District Sorsogon Board Member Fernando David Duran III when again, for the month of September he failed to attend the provincial board sessions without notice on three consecutive Mondays per record of the board secretariat. He was absent from September 5, 12, and 19. For the preceding month, August 2011, Duran was also a no –show during the board session. Now it can be told that he holds the un-honorable record of a non-performing salaried public official the province of Sorsogon produced.
The notoriety of Duran is still a puzzle to political watchers and peeved the sensibilities of the electorate for he received a monthly salary of 43,230 pesos aside from his representation and travel allowance of 11,970 pesos a month. He is being paid by the people of Sorsogon without performing his legislative duties as provincial board member.
During his absences his only official act is signing the payroll to collect his salary and RATA. To compare him with a lowly contractual employee of the provincial government who receive 185 pesos per day and pull his butt for 8 hours doing menial work is insulting in terms of public accountability on the value of peso spent for a position. They labor for 48 hours a week while Duran will log only the maximum during session, 16 hours in a month.
His salary is a waste of people’s money. His shameless behavior raised a lot of questions why the internal rules of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was vague in imposing sanctions and suspensions to erring members just to instill and negate abuses such this one committed by David Duran III. The Local Government Code of 1991 in Chapter 3, Sec.50,(5), a member can be sanctioned or be disciplined if he/she failed to attend four consecutive sessions or could even be suspended for sixty days with the concurrence of 2/3 of the membership of the board.
Duran consecutive absences beginning last session day of July to the present falls under this provision but because of the lack of specifics in the internal rules of the provincial board, he is still enjoying the full privilege as member of the provincial board.
When queried, Vice-Governor Antonio Escudero, Jr. said that it will be the last straw in his leadership if any member of the board will derail legislative work. The case of Fernando David Duran III is a classic act of laziness, if he could not stomach sitting for 3 hours at least during session, he could have resorted to the elementary tactics of “Sir, may I go out”, the vice-governor said.
When the list of absentees ending the month of August was made public by the office of the Sangguniang Secretary, Duran accumulated 16 un-authorized absences. By it alone it proved that Duran is no longer interested in serving his constituents said his disgusted supporter who refused to be identified. That he is only after his salary and representation allowance which is 55,200 pesos a month, why not he just resign to spare his name further shame, he added.
Other observers noted that the board member is now classified as inutile who believes that he still enjoy the complete patronage of his political mentor and its political machinery. His non-appearance every session date is an act of betrayal to his constituents who voted him to office. Being a neophyte in the board, Duran opened lots of criticism to his character and political intentions being a cut above the rest which can be compared to a cut patterned of worse intentions and designs.
For now, his constituents in the first district made him a chairman of the newest committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon, that is, the Committee on Nothing To Do enclosed in parenthesis with salary and representation allowance. At least in this committee he fits well. BicolToday.com
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