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MCWD leadership dispute: Daluz tells Lapid to resign

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN | April 15,2024 - 05:10 PM


Lawyer John Dx Lapid (left) and Lawyer Jose Daluz III

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Lawyer Jose Daluz III, the chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), has asked his colleague, Lawyer John Dx Lapid, to resign as head of the water district’s Customer Care Division.

Daluz said Lapid “abandoned” his post after he accepted his appointment as the MCWD acting general manager by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)  interim board of directors (IBOD).

“Gi-abandon man niya ang Customer Care nga position karon, naa nay gi-appoint nga OIC in his place. Nahog nga mura siyag floating. Na-floating siya nuon. I think, wa man sad siyay buhaton diri sa MCWD for the meantime kay naa namay naglingkod sa iyang position… We’ll follow the legal procedure on how to deal with the insubordination,” Daluz said in a press conference on Monday, April 15.

Daluz spoke to the Cebu media after General Manager Edgar Donoso issued a memorandum that barred LWUA officers and staff, including Lapid, from entering the MCWD building.

READ: LWUA-appointed general manager barred from entering MCWD building

At around noontime, Lapid was eventually allowed to enter the building and work at his designated office at the Customer Care Division.

Legal measures

During his press conference, Daluz said that allowing Lapid’s continued presence at MCWD was causing so much discomfort since he already lost the trust of his colleagues.

“The fact is that, mag sige sila’g kita sa iyang mga kauban and this is already the atmosphere nga iyang makita? Mao bitaw nga ingon ko nga he’s a lawyer, he can resign. Naa man siyay law firm, he can resign,” Daluz said.

“But the blunder that he has mistakes. Ang iyang mga kauban iyang gibiyaan and just imagine he will be working here after this time?” Daluz added.

READ: Water crisis escalates in Cebu City: Bureaucratic delays hamper desalination projects

Moreover, Daluz said they no longer needed Lapid’s presence at MCWD.  When he accepted his LWUA appointment, Daluz said he appointed an officer-in-charge to ensure the unhampered operations of their Customer Care Division.

In addition, Daluz said that he already ask their legal counsels to identify legal measures that they could take against Lapid.

Daluz said that various individuals at MCWD were offered the acting general manager position by LUWA, but only Lapid accepted the appointment.

READ: MCWD: LWUA takeover sparks controversy, Daluz challenges authority

In the same press conference, Sammy Suson, president of the MCWD’s employees union said that they do not support Lapid’s appointment.  But he did not elaborate on his statement.

‘I will not resign’

In a separate interview, Lapid said that nothing should prevent him from entering the MCWD building since he remains a regular employee of the water district.

“If they will send me a show cause order,  I will answer that. And if they will terminate me, tan-awon nato og unsay mahitabo pero mutubag ko og unsay mga pasangil nila. I will not resign,” Lapid said.

READ: LWUA takes over MCWD’s policy-making functions for six months

He also clarified that he did not abandon his post at the Customer Care Division.

“Ang pagka-OIC is only a substitution by plantilla remits. Dili pwede nga moingon sila nga floating ko because I’m still the division manager of Customer Care.”

Moreover, Lapid said that his decision to accept the LWUA appointment was meant to protect the interest of MCWD.

READ: MCWD adopts ‘status quo’ amid LWUA’s partial intervention

“My ultimate goal is for LWUA to stop attacking MCWD. Mao gyud na because supposed to be, kung gusto unta sila Chairman Daluz nga mahunong na, gikiha unta nila ang LWUA. Nganong wala man?” Lapid said.

Lapid also shared his belief that “LWUA  has jurisdiction over all water districts in the Philippines.”

“LWUA is a regulator. That’s my stand… The intervention of LWUA is part of the due process,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lapid said he was well aware of the stand of the union on his appointment.  But he did not want to dwell into it since he did not want MCWD employees to be involved in the dispute involving LWUA and the water district’s management.


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TAGS: Jose Daluz, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), MCWD

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