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Erap turned over docs

Francis Wakefield

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There’s no need to file administrative charges against former Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada over the alleged non-turnover of city documents to his successor, Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Moreno’s team now validating submissions by predecessor

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya bared this after receiving the result of a fact-finding investigation conducted by the department’s director for National Capital Region, Maria Lourdes Agustin.

Malaya said it was established that Estrada’s transition team did turn over to the DILG Manila Field Office on 28 June the required documents.

Reports of an alleged non-turnover only materialized as the formal transmittal of the documents between the two camps did not take place.

Reportedly, former City Administrator Ericson Alcovendaz endorsed the transition documents to DILG City Director Atty. Rolynne Javier in the afternoon of the same day.

Purportedly, the staff of the incoming Secretary to the Mayor refused to receive the documents from Alcovendaz.

No basis
“We find no basis to file administrative charges against former Mayor Estrada,” Malaya said.

“Our DILG Manila Field Office reviewed and validated the transition documents and the same were forwarded to the Office of the City Administrator Felixberto Espiritu copy furnished the Office of the City Mayor on 2 July 2019,” he added.

Malaya said while Estrada and his team did not show up during the supposed turnover ceremony, what is important is that the transition documents had been turned over to his successor.

He said that while the DILG highly recommends the holding of a turnover ceremony for a more seamless leadership and management transition, there are instances that such ceremonies can be dispensed with for as long as the reasons are justified.

Ceremonial
“The turnover ceremony is just ceremonial to symbolize the transition of power from an outgoing official to the next. Even if there is no formal ceremony or even if Estrada failed to attend the turnover rites, what’s important is that the transition documents are intact and are now in the possession of Mayor Isko’s team. There is substantial compliance with the applicable DILG Circular and we, therefore, consider this matter closed,” Malaya said.

Based on the DILG-NCR’s fact-finding report, Estrada issued Executive Order 7, dated 1 April 2019, creating the City of Manila Local Governance Transition Team.

Estrada’s team convened on the 22nd, 29th and 31st of May when they met with Domagoso’s transition group to discuss the turnover of documents.

The turnover was originally scheduled for 21 June, but it was moved to the 28th.

The DILG earlier mulled the filing of charges against Estrada if it was proven that there was negligence on the former mayor’s part to turn over documents.

In Memorandum Circular 2019-39 issued on 13 March 2019, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año called for the creation of local government transition teams and the turnover of documents and inventory of properties to new local chief executives.