MANUEL LAW OFFICE
Suite 2603-D, 26th Floor
Philippine Stock Exchange Centre (East Tower)
Exchange Road, Ortigas Center
Pasig City 1605 Philippines
Telefax: (+632) 638-8778
December 21, 2015
Hon. Angeline T. Chua Chiaco
Professional Regulation Commission
P. Paredes St. corner N. Reyes St.
Dear Hon. Chua Chiaco:
Letter to PSME dated December 18, 2015
We write on behalf of our client, the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (“PSME”), who referred to us for appropriate action your letter dated December 18, 2015 informing the PSME of the PRC’s decision “to recognize the 2016 officers as declared by the PSME” and in this regard “ to recognize Engr. Leandro Conti as the 2016 National President of PSME as confirmed and ratified by the COMELEC.”
With all due respect, your unilateral action of giving your unsolicited recognition to Engr. Conti is totally and absolutely wrong.
Had you only ascertained the facts thoroughly, you would have learned that if there is any election of PSME’s 2016 National Officers, which is valid and legal and which the PSME recognizes, that is the election of the 2016 PSME National Officers held on November 28, 2015, where Engr. Murry Demdam, was duly elected and proclaimed as 2016 PSME National President. It was the 2016 PSME National Board, duly elected and proclaimed winners by the PSME COMELEC last October 25, 2015 during the PSME’s 63rd PSME National Convention - General Membership Meeting held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, who voted for Engr. Demdam. Further, our client told us that it appears that you likewise failed to coordinate and check with the Board of Mechanical Engineers (BME) before you issued your letter.
The act of the COMELEC and Engr. Conti of having the latter proclaimed as 2016 PSME National President was unlawful and illegal as it contravenes the PSME’s Omnibus Election Code, By-laws and Policy Manual.
For purposes of setting the record straight, our client never sent you a letter dated December 11, 2015, which you erroneously used as your premise in issuing your Decemebr 18, 2015 letter. If ever you are referring to our client’s letter of December 1, 2015, the tenor thereof is clear, it simply furnished you with copies of PSME’s resolution No. 2015-64 and Circular Reference No. 2015-40. It never mentioned and never asked you to interfere with PSME’s internal affairs, specifically that of deciding who will be the PSME’s National President fr 2016, which is an issue that is clearly internal for PSME to decide.
By issuing the abovementioned letter, you had clearly exceeded your mandate as it is not within your authority, power and jurisdiction to do so. If there is any authority vested to you by law that is only to give recognition to every Accredited Professional Organization (APO) such as the PSME, but absolutely not to interfere with its internal affairs. In addition, there is no pending controversy or case before your office that necessitates your issuance of the above letter. Further, it is the general membership of PSME who has the sole right and exclusive privilege to determine who it wants to serve as its National Officers. And the general membership spoke when it elected the 2016 PSME National Board last October 25, 2015, who in turn had elected the following 2016 PSME National Officers:
President - Murry F. Demdam
Executive Vice President - Leonardo M. Cometa
VP for Internal Affairs - Edgardo C. Camering
VP for External Affairs - Emmanuel Y. dela Cruz
VP Technical - Nardito M. Cornelio, Jr.
VP for NCR - Edgardo C. Camering
VP for Luzon - Diosdado F. Fetalvero
VP for Visayas - Joemarie A. Arib
VP for Mindanao - Feliciano C. Ferater, Jr.
National Secretary - Lorenzo P. Larion
National Treasurer - Loreto G. Catalan
National Auditor - Robert S. Dy
MIDO - Willy C. Bermudez
Director - Lemie S. Leonida
Director - Roberto E. Sollano
Director - Leandro A. Conti
Just to put emphasis, Engr. Conti is not the duly elected 2016 PSME National President. In fact, he was never elected to any position during the election of the 2016 PSME National Officers. Thus, your abovementioned letter is totally baseless and wrong.
What your office should have done was to refrain from issuing the above letter considering your close ties with Engr. Conti who had been part of PRC for more or less seven (7) years, having served the PRC as member of the Board of Mechanical Engineer (“BME”) from October 2008 to 20100 and thereafter from being its Chairman from October 2011 to February 2015. Our client had informed us that though totally and absolutely illegal, the PRC had allowed Engr. Conti to use its money and resources by allowing Engr. Conti to continuously act as President of PAPRB and occupy an office inside the PRC, when the basic requirement for one to assume such office is that he should be an incumbent officer of BME. Our client further informed us that Engr. Conti had just been replaced by another person to assume the post just a few days ago.
As further proof of the illegality of your letter, the issue as regards who between Engr. Murry Demdam and Engr. Leandro Conti should act as the 2016 PSME National President is currently pending before the Regional Trial Court- Branch 24, Manila, in the case entitled “Engrs. Leandro A. Conti, Jaime Jajay E. Cruz, And Vitaliano Mamawal III versus Engrs. Pablito C. Ocampo, Murry F. Demdam, Rolando C. So, Leonardo M. Cometa, Manuel L. Paulino, Rogelio G. Reyes, Edgardo C. Camering, Lorenzo P. Larion, Loreto G. Catalan, Nardito M. Cornelio, Jr., Willy C. Bermudez, Emmanuel Y. Dela Cruz, Diosdado Fetalvero, Feliciano C. Ferater, Jr., and Ernesto J. Casis,” docketed as Civil Case No. 15-135040. Clearly, your above stated letter unlawfully interferes with the above pending case for which you can be held accountable.
It is unfortunate that despite Engr. Conti being fully aware that he is still asking the Court to recognize and declare him as the duly elected 2016 PSME National President and despite the fact that it is only today that our client had been furnished by your letter, our client had informed us that Engr. Conti had spread out and used your letter to sow confusion and divisiveness among its general membership. What he has not yet gotten from the Court he indirectly had obtained from you and you had willingly granted him the same.
To prevent the tension within PSME from further escalating and to maintain the unity among our ranks, demand is hereby made upon you to recall, retract and rescind your December 18, 2015 letter within two (2) days from receipt of this letter. Failure on your part to heed this demand will constrain us to file the appropriate civil, criminal and administrative action against you, to protect our client’s interest, cost for which shall be further charged against you.
Very Truly Yours,
Andres P. Manuel, Jr.
Office of the President #37236
Hon. Conchita Carpio Morales #37231
Ombudsman Building, Agham Road
North Triangle, Diliman, Quezon City 1101
Hon. Rosalinda Baldoz #37232
Department of Labor and Employment
Muralla Wing corner General Luna Street
Intramuros, Manila 1002