Friday, January 15, 2010

"Ghost solon" shows up at House to get salary, perks


Original Story:

If “ghost employees” abound in some local government units, a “ghost congressman” also exists in the House of Representatives.

Congressional employees said the lawmaker, Negros Occidental Rep. Julio “Jules” Ledesma of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), was seen only twice during the 14th Congress — the first was during the State-of-the-Nation Address of President Arroyo on July 28, 2009, and the second was during the Christmas break when the lawmaker reportedly tried but failed to get his “bonuses and other allowances.”

With only nine session days left before the 15th Congress adjourns, Speaker Prospero Nograles, apparently fed up with habitual absenteeism of the lawmaker from the Visayas, reprimanded Ledesma and asked him to attend at least the last two session days before Congress adjourns sine die on Feb. 5 before he can claim his salaries.

“Congress was on a Christmas break and no employees of consequence were available,” the House leader said, adding that Ledesma would be able to get all perks and salaries due him.

“I just told him to please attend at least the last two sessions of the year so you can get all the papers, documents and salaries due you,” Nograles said.

He added since all House employees have returned for work after the Christmas holidays, Nograles “presumed that Ledesma got all the checks due him.”

It was not immediately known how much – if ever – was given to Ledesma who, as a House member, is also considered a government employee and is entitled to a “13th month pay” equivalent to his one-month salary of P35,000.

A source at the House committee on accounts, who asked not to be named, said the bonuses of congressmen vary, with some “getting as much as P500,000,” especially during “special occasions and when there are special projects.”

According to records, Ledesma is the country’s third richest congressman with a declared net worth of P427,529,000 in his 2008 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALn).

Ledesma was also seen at the NPC headquarters near Balete Drive in Quezon City with his wife, actress Assunta de Rossi when the party formally announced its support for Sen. Loren Legarda’s vice presidential bid, some of his partymates said.

Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo

Original Story:

1 comment:

  1. So much of those hard-core political discussions. It's Saturday, so its joke time. Ang masasabi ko lang, kahit ako naman si Jules Ledesma na may wifey na Assunta De Rossi, for sure absent ako palagi sa trabaho!