MAYOR Jose Espinosa III has temporarily relieved Iloilo City Community College (ICCC) administrator Maria Mathilde Treñas-Octavio pending the investigation on the alleged anomalies at the school.

The relief took effect on Sept 12, 2018 following the executive order issued by the mayor on

Sept 11. Octavio was likewise relieved as administrator of the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC).

Espinosa said the order was in response to the letter from the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas which they received on Aug 22 “referring for appropriate action the alleged anomalies in the administration of the ICCC” which was docketed as RAS-V-ILO-18-0342-W.

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente asked the city government to inform his office of any action taken on the matter within five days upon receipt of his letter.

“We only complied with the instruction from the Ombudsman,” Espinosa said.

The mayor said he also acted upon the recommendation of the City Legal Office to relieve the officials or employees pending his order for the conduct of a fact-finding investigation.

On Aug 31 Espinosa issued Executive Order No. 75 creating the ad hoc committee to conduct a fact-finding investigation on the alleged anomalies at ICCC.

The investigating committee is comprised of a City Legal officer and City Administrator Hernando Galvez, among others.

They are tasked to conduct possible hearing; invite and subpoena witnesses or resources persons; and order, gather, and secure the production of documents and other relevant documents.

The City Legal Office recommended the relief “to give way to the smooth and unhampered access to official records and documents.”

In the absence of Octavio, Espinosa designated former dean Catalina Sanico as the officer-in-charge of the ICCC and Joel Labatorio as the officer-in-charge of the TIIC.

Octavio will remain as an Assistant Department Head II at the City Hall.

“We assigned those who are already there to have continuity of the administration,” he said.

Espinosa said Octavio may or may not resume her post depending on the result of the investigation.

“As of now we do not have a timeline as to the result of the investigation. I will give them time and I want a comprehensive investigation, like going through the daily operation of the ICCC and TIIC,” he said.

Espinosa reiterated that the investigation is free of political color. Octavio is a cousin of his ally-turned-political opponent Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas.

“We only reacted based on the complaints referred to us by the Ombudsman. We informed them that we have already relieved some people and have started with the investigation,” he stressed.

Espinosa further clarified that the ad hoc committee investigation is separate from the probe conducted by the Committee of the Whole of the City Council.

The controversies at the ICCC stemmed from the complaints of four ICCC teachers accusing the administration of allegedly not implementing the Magna Carta for Teachers particularly on salaries, promoting and regularizing unqualified teachers, giving substandard salaries compared to other public schools, realigning the budget, and using obsolete school equipment particularly on books, among others.

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