The civil society group Save Palawan Movement (SPM) has renewed its call to inhibit Palawan education superintendent Natividad Bayubay from any participation in the upcoming March 13 plebiscite.
SPM in a statement issued Thursday asked Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones to recall Bayubay and not allow her to supervise the department’s role in the forthcoming plebiscite, citing her alleged “partiality” towards the affirmation of RA 11259 dividing Palawan.
“Superintendent Bayubay in numerous occasions had shown no qualms to publicly express her personal bias in favor of the proponents of Republic Act 11259. In her own social media posts, she had brazenly displayed poor judgment, in contravention of the ethical standards set by the Civil Service Commission, including a political neutrality that is demanded of her position,” the SPM said.
“Allowing Superintendent Bayubay to lead the department in this exercise as head of the provincial board of canvassers immediately raises a cloud of doubt on the integrity of the plebiscite. The fact that she is supposed to be under a 90-day preventive suspension effective and facing a number of graft complaints is reason enough for the Department of Education to pull her out of Palawan and prevent her from heading the department in the coming plebiscite,” the group added.
Bayubay was supposed to begin her suspension on December 1, according to an official copy issued and signed by Secretary Briones. She has also been under fire for appearing in her office in mid-January without undergoing mandatory quarantine. She was replaced on January 12 by acting Palawan Schools Division Superintendent Arnulfo Ventura.