Smear drive vs Bello hit

November 21, 2019
Silvestre Bello III

WE shall overcome!

Thus declared the senior officials of the labor department who are up in arms over what they called a sinister campaign against Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that tends to destroy the integrity of the 86-year-old institution.

In a manifesto, the executives said they are alarmed by “the manner (Bello) is yet again being pilloried with a slew of charges that are unfounded, and at best ludicrous.”

The manifesto was signed by four of the five department undersecretaries, five assistant secretaries, and the directors of bureaus and offices who are all career officials of DOLE.

“We are convinced that most were resurrected allegations first brought to public attention last year and dismissed by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission sans an iota of merit,” the officials said.

They said the issues being raised against the labor chief have been damaging the image of the department and its officials.

Last week, separate complaints were filed in the Ombudsman and the PACC against Bello for graft, dishonesty and treason for his alleged excessive overseas travels and meeting with Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison in the Netherlands. He is also accused of usurpation of authority for designating OICs to vacant positions in the department.

“While the sinister attacks may be directed against Secretary Bello, we believe that his tormentors are willfully destroying the institution by maliciously implying that its officials merely kowtow to the Secretary’s alleged ‘unauthorized’ acts in the performance of his duties,” the officials said.

They added, “If only to protect the integrity of the institution we serve, we stand strongly against the evil designs propelled by obsession and wicked personal interests to destroy it. We stand firmly by the probity of Secretary Bello in leading us, and in the conduct of the affairs of the Department.”

The officials also said, “In the coming days, the institution will observe 86 years of service to the Filipino workers and the people. We will not allow such overzealous machinations to stand in the way of our pursuit of “mahusay, mabilis at malinis na serbisyo.”

DOLE celebrates its 86th anniversary on December 6, and the event is expected to be graced by President Duterte.