December 4, 2014
Militants welcome Ombudsman decision against corrupt labor arbiter, calls for "lifestyle checks" and "thorough cleansing" in NLRC
Socialist labor center Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), as part of the broad labor coalition Koalisyon Kontra Korupsyon (KKK), welcomes the indictment of labor arbiter Jesus Orlando Quinones by the Office of the Ombudsman for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
According to the Ombudsman, “Records show that Quinones offered to facilitate the reversal of a decision rendered by the NLRC in a labor dispute in exchange for P2 million.”
Quinones’ act of “soliciting a fee in exchange for assistance in obtaining a reversal of a decision was unquestionably intimately connected with his official functions since he himself was its author.”
Ombudsman’s findings proved and verified KKK’s long-time campaign that indeed, corruption exists in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and true enough, corruption involves millions of pesos.
KKK has previously exposed the NLRC as a “millionaires' club” after the release of their 2013 Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), which show that all labor commissioners and arbiters have wealth accumulated wealth more than what they can accumulate based on their salaries.
Leody de Guzman, BMP president said, "The Ombudsman decision exposes the well-established modus operandi of unscrupulous arbiters at our labor courts. They act as devious fixers, auctioning their decisions to the highest bidder. Aggrieved workers, thus, suffer a double whammy of injustice - at the workplace and at the NLRC. Worse, the salaries of corrupt labor officials come from withholding taxes and value added taxes borne by salaried employees".
"The BMP is calling for lifestyle checks of NLRC arbiters and commissioners. A thorough cleansing is imperative if the commission wants to regain the trust and confidence of distressed workers, who regard the labor courts as the last resort against maltreatment from abusive employers," he concluded. #