Friday, August 20, 2010

Media slam Philippine audit official

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 20, 2010) – Local journalists have decried the arrogance of a senior government official who was accused of berating a radio reporter while trying to get an interview.

Roberto Marquez, regional director of the Commission on Audit in Western Mindanao, berated Santos Cortez, of the Radio Mindanao Network, who phoned the official Wednesday and introduced himself politely.

The reporter told Marquez that he wanted to interview him on several issues, but the official, his voice slightly rose and said: “I don’t know if what you’re saying is true, I am in the blind, I do not know who the hell you are. You maybe a kidnapper or an extortionist, you better come to my office and show your face and I can talk to you.”

“On the phone, I do not know who the devil you are? You maybe using somebody else’s name, how could I verify this? I am not sure who I am talking to and if you want to discuss anything with me, but who the hell I am talking to? You come to my office and I will talk to you,” Marquez said.

The whole conversation was later aired by the Radio Mindanao Network and drew various reactions from the public. The radio station said it would file a complaint with the Commission on Audit central office in Manila and the Civil Service Commission.

Francisco Duque, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, said he will have the matter investigated and also urged the radio network to file a complaint with the Commission on Audit under Chairman Rey Villar.

“We should bring this matter also Chairman Rey Villar, of the Commission on Audit, so he can order an investigation into this director. This director is shameless as if he is not a public servant,” Duque said.

“He should resign because his behavior is unethical and there is no room for arrogant people in public service. President (Benigno) Aquino should act on this,” said Joseph Zosobrado, a television cameraman.

“He is a bad example to civil servants. He should not be in the government service,” said Jung Francisco, manager of the regional newspaper, Mindanao Examiner.

It was the second time that a civil employee was criticized for their unethical behavior.

A senior employee of the Philippines’ National Statistics Office in Zamboanga City was also criticized after she shouted at a man trying to get legal documents.

The National Statistics Office is a recognized world-class provider of statistical and civil registration products and services.

The whole scene was recorded on a cell phone and uploaded in the Internet video sharing and can be accessed on this URL

The unidentified woman was so angry at the man that she started shouting at him and in front of many clients while her microphone is turned on.

Various comments and criticisms were posted on the YouTube channel of Johoranz, who was believed to have uploaded the video on June 11. The video was branded as “NSO Zamboanga Scandal.”

“You can see (in this video) the kind of civil servants we have at the NSO Zamboanga. It was so shameful and almost all people wanting to get legal documents at this government agency were berated and shouted by this woman,” he said on his YouTube channel which can also be access on this URL (Mindanao Examiner)

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