Two heads are better than one but for students of the Talisay City College, having two men at the helm is confusing.
A day after Talisay City Mayor Johnny delos Reyes went to the college to hand over a copy of his executive order yanking out acting president Ritchel Bacaltos from his post, former Mandaue City College dean Paulus Mariae Cañete yesterday arrived in the TCC campus and declared that he was taking over.
Bacaltos said that Cañete’s assumption of the presidency was premature and that he was entitled to a 30-day grace period.
“I thought Mayor JVR would comply with the 30-day notice in case of replacement as stipulated in my contract,” Bacaltos said.
But the mayor, who sits as chairman of the board of the city college, remains adamant, saying he can replace Bacaltos any time as the college official sits only in an acting capacity.
Morever, he said Bacaltos is not qualified to head the college as he has no doctorate degree and was a “midnight” appointee named to the post in the last days of Mayor Socrates Fernandez.
Bacaltos was the city administrator during the Fernandez administration.
Students were surprised yesterday when Cañete went around the campus and introduced himself as the new president. He also converted one of the rooms into his office.
Rowena Marapi, a freshman Computer Technology student, said they are confused over whom to believe.
Bacaltos said that he doesn’t want the controversy to affect the students.
“Insulto na gyud kaayo ang ilang gibuhat diri nako pero ako gihapon silang giatubang ug tarung,” Bacaltos said. (Their action is insulting but I stillI treated them nicely).
He said he was appealing to Dr. Cañete to be professional and follow the rule of law.
The mayor together with city legal officer Alfredo Sipalay and Paulus Cañete went to TCC last Monday and informed Bacaltos that he would be replaced.
Delos Reyes later told reporters that Bacaltos asked for a 30-day reprieve and a copy of a Board of Trustees (BOT) resolution authorizing Cañete’s appointment.
But Bacaltos denied this saying that 30 days is not a reprieve but a stipulation in his contract.
Cañete is not new to controversy. He established his own school and named it Mandaue City College after Mayor Jonas Cortes fired him as head of the Mandaue City-owned college in 2007.