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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, April 20, 2013
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PACE has counsel for SP suit

The secretary of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees said yesterday that they will be represented by Romolo Galvan, former prosecutor of Bago City, and of the Public Attorneys’ Office, in the case they will file against the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan, headed by Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr., before the Office of the Ombudsman next week.

Renelo Lastierre said this after the Commission on Human Rights said they can only give advice to the PACE on the case but cannot represent them in court.

CHR-Negros head Romeo Baldevarona said he urged the PACE to write a formal letter to CHR regional director David Bermudo and explain to him their problems and concerns.

“They can meet our lawyers and seek advice but we cannot represent them as their legal counsel,” Baldevarona said.

PACE is filing mandamus charges against the members of the SP and Alvarez.

Mandamus, also called a "writ of mandate", orders a public agency or governmental body to perform an act required by law when it has neglected or refused to do so.

The PACE Board had recently approved unanimously Resolution 07-13 Series of 2013, authorizing the filing of the charges to protect the interest of their members with the non passage by the SP of the 2013 annual budget of the provincial government, it said.

The non-passage of the budget has prevented the provincial government employees' salary increases in accordance with the Salary Standardization Law III, and the granting of their extra bonus, it added.

“There exists a need to protect the interest of the PACE members and a need to take appropriate legal actions in the protection of the employees right to salary increase as mandated by law,” the resolution also said.

PACE president Ruben Diamante said they have already gathered more than P1,200 signatures from their members and they only need to get a few more to reach their 75 percent target. PACE is composed of 2,300 members.

He also assured their members that they will file the case as soon as they complete the documents.*LTG

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