Provincial education head Dr. Natividad Bayubay, who had been ordered suspended by Education Secretary Leonor Briones pending investigation on a set of administrative charges, has reportedly gone back to work Tuesday in apparent defiance of her suspension, according to Palawan News sources in the division office.
Bayubay was seen in her office and held a meeting with department personnel the same day the Provincial Board passed a resolution calling for her permanent replacement.
There was no official clarification made available to the media on the arrival of Bayubay in the province, but the latter has posted a status in her social media account indicating she had arrived coming to the city aboard a private plane of Palawan governor Jose Ch. Alvarez.
“There is no flying without wings. – French Proverb. ‘Cause I am special and I am grateful. Thank you Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez for the ride,” she wrote on her FB post Tuesday. She did not specify her point of origin and which airport her flight landed in.
Palawan News tried to reach various offices including the office of the Regional Director and the Provincial DepEd to clarify the status of Bayubay’s suspension order but received no reply.
Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga told Palawan News they are aware of the suspension status of Bayubay.
“Ang alam namin suspended sya. [Kung nandito sya] dapat naka-quarantine siya, pero Ipapa-check muna namin ‘yan,” Arzaga said.
Bayubay had been placed under a 90-day suspension effective December 1, through an order signed by DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones.
Superintendent Bayubay, according to City Hall sources, also arrived in the city without going through the health protocols including mandatory quarantine as an Authorized Person Outside Residence (APOR). Members of the City Inter-Agency Task Force and Incident Management Team (IMT) did not comment on her possible violation.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Provincial Board approved a resolution requesting Secretary Briones to appoint a permanent and qualified replacement who will take over her duties. Several board members also stated that a Palawan native would be ideal for the position.
“We have a Palawenya who is qualified for the position of SDS in the person of Dr. [Loida] Adornado,” said board member Cherry Pie Acosta, one of the main proponents of the resolution.
Bayubay is being investigated by the department for various charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, gross neglect of duty, and violation of reasonable office rules and regulations due to several complaints filed against her by school heads in Palawan. She reportedly vacated her office in mid-December without any notice to the public.
Palawan News also made all attempts to contact the Palawan DepEd information officer Arnie Ventura, DepEd Regional Director Nicolas Capulong, and Atty. Alberto Escobarte, national DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, but all were unavailable. (with reports from Ruth Rodriguez and Patricia Laririt)