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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, October 28, 2013
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A resolution expressing support to the call for the removal of Marichi Ramos from the Board of Bacolod City Water District was passed by the The Water Watch (Bantay Tubig), an alliance of Bacolod City Water District consumers in Bacolod City, recently.

Signed by Wennie Sancho, its secretary general, and its officers, the group said it support the October 14 letter of Manuel Yoingco, officer-in-charge, of the Local Water Utilities Administration, denying confirmation of the appointment of Ramos.

Ramos had filed a petition Monday seeking the nullification of the letter-order of LWUA denying her confirmation as representative of the professional sector in BACIWA.

The petition, with prayer for temporary restraining order, was filed against Yoingco, officer-in-charge, Office of the Acting Administrator of LWUA, Eduardo Santos and Juliana Carbon, general manager of BACIWA, to prevent them from implementing the order of Yoingco and ordering her replacement/removal pending further orders from the Court.

The petition is anchored on the ground that neither Yoingco nor Santos have the authority or legal basis for denial of confirmation and for ordering her replacement/removal as director of BACIWA.

Ramos said that, as chairman of the Finance Committee, she had initially questioned the BACIWA management regarding the 47 percent systems losses and, investigated and eventually uncovered anomalies and technicalities in the implementation of a water system improvement project for BACIWA, financed by a P537 million loan from LWUA.

Water Watch, however, claimed that it agreed that Mayor Monico Puentevella has authority to appoint and remove the members of the Board of Directors of Baciwa, citing his letter dated October 17.

In her petition, however, Ramos said that, based on PD 198, the LWUA, represented by Yoingco and Santos, is not empowered and authorized by law to remove directors of water districts, and can only remove for cause.

Ramos said that if PNoy is being audited, it is just right that BACIWA should also be audited, since it had never been audited since 2008.

I believe in the justice system. When one is exposing irregularities and anomalies, one can expect to be hit back. I will stand steadfast in what I believe, which is to stop corruption, she said.

They can say whatever they want, she said, but she believes she will be vindicated in the end, Ramos said.

She also said she did not misrepresent herself and that the cases they claimed were filed against her were already dismissed.

She will file proper charges next week against those who have issued libelous statements against her, she said.

She feels sad that she is being falsely accused when she is doing the right thing, Ramos said. But they cannot keep her mouth shut just even if she had been receiving death threats.

Ramos said I do not care, because I do not deceive people, nor steal or step on other people's toes.

She said she had never asked for reimbursement from BACIWA for her trips to Manila, unlike one of the members of the BACIWA Board who had just travelled out of the country.

Meanwhile, John Chiong, founder/president of Katilingban Sang Naghiliusa, said all the members of their organization support Ramos, who has been one of their consultants since they started four years ago.

He said that, as far as their organization is concerned, they believe that it is unfair for LWUA not to give Ramos due process. From the beginning, they saw how she had exposed alleged irregularities in the water district, he said.

Chiong said they have not seen her commit any violation in the Board.

She has a golden heart and had been offering her services to their organization which is involved in community outreach programs like medical missions and feeding programs, he added.*CGS




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