> Professional lives mired by personal rifts, two former UPLB officials say that Sanchez maneuvered them out of office and delayed their benefits.
> Documents obtained by [P] shows that Sanchez has
‘misrepresented’ an organizational chart to the Board of Regents.
Part 2: Chancellor Sanchez asked to repair his house 33 times in a span of nine months. Both are pointing to this as the beginning of the issue.
By Ian Raphael Lopez and Noreen Donato
Two former high-ranking University officials cried foul over Chancellor Fernando Sanchez Jr.’s leadership in UPLB, claiming that he used his office for his personal vendettas.
The pair, one a former vice chancellor and the other a former human resources chief, alleged have experienced tremendous difficulties in receiving retirement benefits that were entitled to them, after they were eased out of office by Sanchez.
In the process, both said that Sanchez has “lied,” with one instance involving the misrepresentation of an organizational chart to the Board of Regents.
This was revealed in an August 22 letter written by former Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development and Physical Plant Maintenance and Servicing Office (PPMSO) Director Dr. Ruben Tanqueco, and former Human Resources Development Office (HRDO) Chief Administrative Officer Joselito M. Palanca.
The letter was addressed to the UP Board of Regents (BOR), “vigorously opposing” Sanchez’s bid for a third term as UPLB Chancellor.
“Chancellor Sanchez wants to cling on to his position. We think that he is afraid that when he is no longer the Chancellor, he will lose protection from whatever cases are filed against him,” Tanqueco and Palanca wrote.
Case after case
Since 2016, Tanqueco and Palanca have engaged with Chancellor Sanchez in a dizzying trail of legal and administrative cases.
The December 8, 2015 UPLB executive committee meeting started the trail of cases when Sanchez reportedly thought of ways to remove Tanqueco from his position as PPMSO director. During the meeting, Sanchez allegedly accused Tanqueco of infidelity, the basis of a grave oral defamation case filed against the Chancellor.
Palanca opposed the plan, telling Sanchez that it is wrong to relieve someone from baseless accusations. Palanca then testified in the grave oral defamation case.
On April 21, 2016, Sanchez relieved Palanca from his post in the HRDO. In turn, Palanca then filed a case, alleging that the move was a violation of the Omnibus Election Code which prohibits any transfer of officers in the civil service during the election season.
In 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to dismiss the case but Palanca filed a motion for reconsideration. Up until now, the case is still being reviewed.
“The issue is the relief of a tenured personnel without legal basis and due process… worse is that the action was done during the election period,” Palanca wrote in their letter to the BOR.
A blatant lie
In the same letter, Tanqueco wrote that in 2016, Sanchez requested for the PPMSO and the Campus Planning and Development Office (CPDO) to be abolished then merged under a new office called the University Planning and Maintenance Office (UPMO).
Justifying this to the BOR, Sanchez said that the reorganization was because the PPMSO was under the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (VCCA), while the CPDO was under the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (VCPD).
In a proposal document to create the UPMO, written in 2016 and was received by [P] last week, Sanchez wrote: “The planning and development functions are lodged under … a separate Vice-Chancellor, that is the CPDO being under the VCPD and the PPMSO being under the VCCA,” Sanchez wrote.
However in 2000, then Chancellor Wilfredo David issued Memorandum Number 10, moving the PPMSO from the OVCCA to the OVCPD. David’s move was also published in the UP Gazette, the publication containing information from Board of Regent meetings.
Even the UPLB Telephone Directory in 2012 listed the PPMSO under the OVCPD.
This means that Sanchez has lied to the BOR, Tanqueco said, adding that the Chancellor, a former assistant and VCPD himself, is aware of it.
The maneuver, according to Tanqueco and Palanca’s letter, was an act of “misrepresentation and dishonesty” to the BOR.
“Since the PPMSO holds the key to the illegal acts he committed, it is in his best interest to make the PPMSO disappear, as it has documents and direct knowledge that will prove his abuse of authority, personally benefited from its resources in the repair and renovation of his house before and after the issuance of Administrative Order No. 322, Series of 2015 (AO 2015-322), to erase traces of his criminal and malicious acts,” Tanqueco said in his letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion as a response to Sanchez’s August 5, 2017 Verified Explanation.
Through AO 2015-322, Sanchez supposedly made his rented house at No. 4 Dona Aurora St., UPCO as an Executive Residence and was removed from the jurisdiction of UPLB University Housing Office (UHO).
With this administrative order, released on December 16, 2015, Sanchez suspended his active housing rental agreement, and may have allowed PPMSO to do the repairs on his house, says Tanqueco.
“What is being questioned is the propriety and legality of issuing a very specific Administrative Order which benefits nobody else but himself and usurps the authority of UP BOR,” he stated in his letter to President Concepcion.
In the letter to BOR, Tanqueco said that his Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) was stopped in December 2017. The RATA is considered as reimbursement for any expenses in the performance of government duties.
“Very clearly, Chancellor Sanchez abused his authority when he deprived me of my RATA without legal basis and due process,” Tanqueco said.
On May 22, 2019, Tanqueco also asked the Chancellor to sign his University clearance, but Sanchez allegedly did not act on it. According to the letter, the Chancellor then requested a declaration of pendency/non-pendency of case before he can sign the clearance.
Tanqueco called the lengthy process an “attempt to delay the release of my terminal leave pay, service recognition pay and UP provident fund benefit, where the University clearance is a requirement.”
In an interview with [P], Tanqueco said that the declaration of pendency/non-pendency was needed because of a “fabricated” administrative case filed against him.
But the case did not push through, due to Tanqueco’s lawyer reportedly notifying Sanchez that the Chancellor should inhibit from the administrative case.
“My lawyer wrote to him and asked him to inhibit himself. Kasi magiging biased siya in decision-making as we filed numerous cases against him,” Tanqueco told [P].
“The Chancellor’s intention is just to harass me and delay whatever benefits I can get out of retirement,” he added.
Tanqueco confirmed that he only received his retirement benefits on January 7, 2020, after retiring from UPLB on September 30, 2019.
This is way beyond three months, the period of time stipulated to resolve any pending case on a retiring government employee, by the implementing rules of R.A. 10154 or the law on the early release of retirement benefits.
Palanca said that Sanchez should not have requested for the declaration of pendency/non-pendency from Tanqueco.
“It is the GSIS who should verify the status of the pending case. Under the IRR dapat resolved in 3 months ang case. Sinulatan ng GSIS si Chancellor at si President [Danilo] Concepcion,” Palanca explained to [P]. Tanqueco added that the UP President let him retire “unhampered”.
Palanca’s benefits ‘stopped’
Meanwhile, Palanca said that while he has already received his retirement benefits, he has not yet received a definite ruling on the legality of his relief as HRDO chief and the stoppage of his RATA, as attached to his position.
Palanca’s request has been pending since September 29, 2016, when the Civil Service Commission (CSC) referred his case to then-UP President Alfredo Pascual.
“To date, the administrative complaints are still under review and evaluation by the UP system,” Palanca explained in the aforementioned BOR letter.
Palanca told [P] that the matter with RATA was already resolved before.
“Yung RATA e dapat di niya ini-stop kasi resolved na iyon ng Civil Service Commission at ng Commission on Audit. Alam ni Sanchez yun,” Palanca said.
When asked why he thought Sanchez moved to stop his other benefits, Palanca said that the Chancellor was angered over the former HRDO chief’s decision to be a witness in Tanqueco’s grave oral defamation case.
“Nakita niya sa order ng court sworn testimony ko sa case laban sa kaniya,” he said.
The Office of the Chancellor (OC), after confirming receipt of [P]’s repeated requests for reply, only refused to comment on the allegations.
“Please be informed that the Chancellor will no longer issue a detailed comment on the issues raised by Dr. Tanqueco and Mr. Palanca. These claims and allegations are baseless in fact and in law,” the OC said on Monday through an e-mail. [P]