In September 2002, SOLAIR Dean Juan Amor Palafox entered into a Comprehensive Agreement/Notice of Award, with Grant Officer Lawrence Kuss signing in behalf of the US Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.
When the funds were allocated, Palafox
allegedly became secretive about the agreement and refused to divulge details despite questions raised by Aganon and Ofreneo in 2002.
then re-channeled funds through the Center for Labor Education and Research Development
(CLEARED), SOLAIR's Foundation
, apparently without the knowledge of the foundation's designated beneficiaries.
The Seven SOLAIR professors also say that Palafox
illegally required all research and extension staff to become members of a bogus "Tri-Center," composed of the School's Center for Labor Justice, Center for Labor and Grassroots Initiatives and Center for Industry Productivity and Competitiveness
to conduct the research project.
The research and extension staff, meanwhile, was supposedly advised by Palafox
not to divulge anything about the research project to the faculty.
Usurpation of authority
The seven professors assert that Palafox
is guilty of the "usurpation of the authority of the (UP Diliman) Chancellor and the President of the University of the Philippines (System)" and Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Malversation of Public Funds.The latter declares unlawful any act by any government official giving any private party "unwarranted benefits" and causing "undue injury" to the government.
The professors already filed an administrative case against Palafox
on April 13 at the office of the UP Diliman Chancellor.An administrative investigation was begun.
The fox gets back
In retaliation, the seven professors were slapped by Palafox
with charges of qualified theft and violation of Electronic Act of 2000 for allegedly stealing the evidence in connection to the case. Palafox
averred that he
discovered the loss of documents after receiving a copy of the administrative complaint.He
claims that attached to the complaint were the original copies of the Agreement, which he
said were stored inside his
office and which had no copies.
Also alleged to be missing from his
office files were the hard copies of electronic data messages regarding problems in the release of the research funds.