April 22, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed President Gloria Arroyo’s appointment of her personal manicurist, a certain Anita Carpon, as government employees’ representative to the Board of Trustees of the Pag-IBIG Fund. “This is another controversial midnight appointment and an example of GMA planting loyal people to key positions in government as she vacates Malacañang,” declared Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
Magtubo explained that “We do not criticize Carpon’s appointment because she is a lowly manicurist. Even an ordinary worker deserves to sit in important posts in government such as administering the state housing fund. But we doubt Carpon will represent the interests of public sector workers because she owes a debt of gratitude to GMA and because of their personal relation.” Magtubo was a congressman for 12 years while remaining a factory worker in the Fortune Tobacco plant in Marikina.
PM called on public sector labor groups to name government workers who they believe deserve to be state employees’ representative in the Pag-IBIG board. “Is there no one among a million government employees who can represent their interests in Pag-IBIG but does have a personal relation with GMA? It is not difficult to believe that Carpon will just be used by GMA so she can dip her hand in the P200 billion fund of workers in the private and public sector,” Magtubo asked.
PM is advocating that government employees’ representative in the Pag-IBIG board come from a short list of names recommended by public sector workers organizations. “Similar to the process of selecting the Chief Justice from those recommended by the Judicial and Bar Council, the government employees’ representative in Pag-IBIG must also come from nominees of state workers groups,” Magtubo asserted.
He said that “Should we be asked to recommend, we know of several public sector labor leaders with unblemished records who can serve as watchdog in the Pag-IBIG board.” As an organization of workers who are members of Pag-IBIG, PM announced that the group is open to participating in such a transparent and accountable process.