Hunger striker in Antique hospitalized on 5th day

May 8, 2013 11:27 am 

SAN JOSE, Antique, May 7 — Antique Provincial Information Officer Eric Otayde was forced to end his hunger strike after being hospitalized Monday noon.

After five days of eating nothing but water and biscuits, doctors decided to have Otayde confined to the hospital to prevent the worsening of his condition. He was diagnosed to be suffering from diabetes and needed to be confined.

He was first brought to the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital (Antique Provincial Hospital), but was transferred to the newly opened Antique Medical Center where he could be attended properly and more efficiently.

Otayde went on hunger strike in protest to the non-release of his salary by Antique Governor Exequiel B. Javier which he estimated to be around P1.2 million for the last 33 months.

He put up a tent and a folding bed in front of the Capitol where he stayed in the last five days. A nurse and members of the Antique media took turn accompanying him since last Thursday morning.

Otayde, known to be a close confidante of then Governor Salvacion Zaldivar Perez, was appointed to the position of Information Officer IV in 2005.

As soon as Governor Javier assumed office in July 2010, he detailed Otayde and a number of employees perceived to be close to his political nemesis to the Provincial Government’s liaison office in Culasi town, some 92 kilometers from the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista.

On August 2010, Gov. Javier dismissed Otayde for the reason that Otayde’s position as Information Officer was co-terminus with the term of Perez.

Otayde immediately filed a case of illegal dismissal against Javier with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Regional Office which came out with a decision dated May 11, 2011 ordering Governor Javier to reinstate Otayde after finding out that Otayde’s dismissal was illegal.

The decision of the CSC Regional Office was affirmed by the CSC national office in separate resolutions on June 27, 2012, and Jan. 7, 2013.

But Javier said the CSC order to reinstate Otayde as Information Officer IV was defective and could not be implemented because the position was already occupied. He sought a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the CSC decision with the Court of Appeals.

Gov. Javier said Otayde’s position became vacant and was filled up when Otayde was promoted to deputy head of the public information office by former Gov. Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez.

The CA denied the governor’s petition for a temporary restraining order against the CSC reinstatement order.

“I feel sad that I have to end my hunger strike in protest to the defiance of Governor Javier of the Order of the Civil Service Commission but my fight continues. I am hoping and praying that Gov. Javier would finally see the light and stop his dictatorial ways. I hope the Antiqueños will likewise see the truth with Javier’s vengeful administration,” said Otayde as he thanked all those who sympathized and supported him in the last five days.(PNA)

LAM/AJP/RPALCALDE/VLO

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