Agriculture Regional Director Remedios Ongtangco on Tuesday wrote about the PCIJ story “Arroyo made 13 ‘midnight appointments’ on June 10” which identified her as among 13 “midnight appointees” by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Ongtangco, who was promoted to the rank of CESO III, said that she had filed her application for promotion as early as June 2, 2009 after completing the requirements of the position. The Career Executive Service Board (CESB), however, was unable to act on her application until June 2, 2010, claiming it “misplaced” the documents she submitted in her original application.

Ongtangco furnished the PCIJ with her 2009 letter and the 2010 CESB resolution of her appointment.

The full letter follows.

This is with reference to the article entitled “13 appointments made on June 10” published in the Philippine Star dated 12th of July 2010. This article has categorically stated that 13 appointments were made on the eve of an election ban by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

PCIJ boasts of well-researched and well documented stories that aim to contribute to the various issues of our society. However, it was unfortunate that the undersigned was included in this blanket list of “midnight appointments” without the writer (Mr. Lingao) having made a diligent effort to conduct a proper research on each person included in this list.

Please be informed that as early as June 2, 2009, I have submitted a letter addressed to the Office of Chairman Abesamis of CESB of my request for promotion to the higher Career Executive Service Rank (CESO Rank III) after complying with the requirements provided by the same office. This includes the residency requirement of at least three (3) years in my CES rank since I was promoted to CESO Rank IV on June 6, 2006.

No action was made on this application. It was only after I made a follow-up of my previous application this year that I was informed that my documents were misplaced and that I should resubmit all the documentary requirements since all my clearances have already lapsed. Last 2nd of June 2010, I have received CESB Resolution Number 873 wherein it indicates the recommendation to the President the promotion in CESO ranks of only two (2) Career Executive Service Officers including the undersigned and Director Belas of DTI Region VIII.

Lastly, I also believe in the role of media in strengthening the democratic institution of our country. Nonetheless, such role must be coupled with a responsibility to the public of informing them of the truth. I believe that I have carried my duties as a public servant with competence and dignity, I therefore would like to request that this error be rectified immediately and my name be cleared from this blanket list of midnight appointments.

Attached herewith are the supporting documents for your perusal.

Sincerely yours,

(original signed)
Regional Director

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