The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) management has suspended two of its staff “without pay” due to allegations of “misconduct” inside a government-owned ambulance vehicle.
PPSRNP park superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said that the two employees whom she declined to name were suspended for a week for improper behavior while in charge of an ambulance on Monday, April 29.
Maclang who declined to disclose the names of the suspended employees and the full details of their offenses only said one of them was their driver who has been working with PPSNRP for two years.
“Admitted niya na siya nga at nagawa niya. May isa pang staff na involved, so dalawang staff. Pinapa-submit ko sila [ng] explanation in writing at next [is] suspension part [ito ng] due process. One week [ang suspension nila], upon the receipt ng memo,” said Maclang through a text message sent to Palawan News on Tuesday.
Maclang said their driver admitted his offense, but she never really had the opportunity to talk to him because he was drunk and already on his day off.
The weeklong suspension was imposed by the PPSRNP management on the two employees after resident Rosito Lora posted on his social media account on April 29 a photo of an ambulance with a half-naked person at the back.
Lora said he could not tell if the man she saw half-naked and drunk inside the ambulance around 12:00 a.m. was a park employee or not.
He said the driver of the ambulance also honked its horn three times at midnight and repeated it again around 2:30 a.m.
“Ambulance po yun ng PPUR mga skay po nyn empleyado ng protected area ntional prk.hbang ngiinuman s tabi ng beach hngang 2:30am dp nkutnto s ingay nila makilang bisis po n ng busina ng npklkas kla q my pasyente 12am 3x busina subrang lkas sbay twnan.nulit ng 2:30am dn n po aq lmbas pra pgsbihan n mgp2log nman cla pwdi nman cla mg ingay wg lng mgbusina..dhl npklas ng busina n gngwa nla [sic],” Lora stated.
Lora said further in his post that the driver got mad at him when he went out of his house to advise him to stop creating noises because residents are already sleeping.
“Ngalit p skin ung driver at ng astang kla m wla ng pwding sumita sknya sbay sbi nya bakit nkita mbang aa ng ng busina. Pki share nlmg po pra mkrting s taong bayan.ambulnsya ng taong bayan gngamit png emergency gmit ng mga empleyado s knilng png gudtym pnu qng my emerncy..tsk..tsk… [sic],” he said.
Maclang explained that the ambulance was used by the employees to bring a tourist who was bitten by a monkey to the hospital in the city on Sunday, April 28.
It was the driver’s first offense, she pointed out.
“Isolated case ito kasi first time na nangyari. Hindi ko alam kung may problema ang staff na ito o ano. Kasi alam nila ang rules namin. First time itong nangyari,” she added.
Maclang said while they appreciate the concern of the public in letting them know about the offense, they doubt Lora’s motive in exposing it on Facebook.
This is because there were also other concerned residents who informed them about the incident without posting it on their social media accounts.
Maclang also shared that Lora was one of their former employees who allegedly got involved in the anomalous selling of a land property that belongs to the national park.
She stated Lora failed to be rehired in 2015 because of this irregularity.
“Driver din talaga siya (Lora)… dati siyang staff at na-involve sa mga irregularities dito sa park, illegal land selling ng lupa ng national park area,” said Maclang.
Lora said in a separate interview with Palawan News on Monday evening that the incident took place near his home at Purok Dalampasigan 1 in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan.
“Nagkataon lang ‘yan na dito sila sa tapat ng bahay ko nag-ingay at nagising ako ng hating gabi na ‘yan. Unang busina nila mga alas-dose, hindi ko pinansin [kahit] matagal silang nag-busina tatlong beses ata na malalakas, natulog ulit ako. Inulit na naman nila ng alas dos ng madaling araw kaya doon ko na sila pinagsabihan. Aktwal po ang [photo na] iyan. Nagkaroon kami ng conversation diyan ng driver dahil pinatitigil ko siya na mag-busina nang napakalakas. [Iyong nasa photo po ay isa sa] mga kasama niya sa loob. Ang driver nakasakay na at nasa manibela noong piniktyuran ko kasi noong sinita ko bigla silang umalis,” said Lora.
He said he did not expect that there will be people — three others — inside the ambulance at the back and that the man he saw would be in the nude half down his body.
Lora further said he did not see the half nude man at first because it was dark, but when he checked again, he was in the picture.
“Hindi ko sukat akalain na may tao diyan sa loob. Pag-shot ng camera hindi ko sukat akalain na mayroon diyan sa likod. Wala nga po siyang salawal. Hindi ko napansin ‘yan noong pag-picture ko. Noong tiningnan ko na lang sa picture ko na nakita ko na wala po pala siyang salawal,” Lora added.
Lora noted that the driver of the ambulance even hit a flower box of a house near the store where they bought their liquors.
“Napag-alaman ko na malapit sa binilihan nila ng alak ay nakabangga sila ng isang flower box doon sa gate ng isang may bahay doon at naiwan ‘yong kapirasong bumper nila doon,” he said.
He said he only posted the photo on his Facebook account because he wanted to expose their wrongdoings.
Lora also said the issue has nothing to do with the misunderstanding between him and the PPSRNP management in the past.
“Umalis ako diyan [sa PPSRNP] sa kagustuhan ko. Siguro meron lang hindi napagkaka-initindihan ng kaunti pero sa akin wala po ‘yon dahil sa akin part po ng aking trabaho ‘yong ginawa kung bakit tayo nagkaroon ng katampuhan ng konti ng management. Pero ang ginawa ko ay kapakanan ng karamihan dahil ginawa ko ay pinagtanggol ko ang mga mamamayan na gustong i-demolish ng City Government dito sa camp site, tinutulan ko ‘yan,” said Lora.