National Library chief not a librarian, complaint alleges

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2018 03:48 PM

MANILA - Ateneo De Manila University’s Rizal Library Director Vernon Totanes has filed a letter of complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against the supposed irregular appointment of Philippine National Library Director Ceasar Gilbert Adriano.

Records from the Philippine Librarians Association (PLAI) and the Professional Regulation Commission show Adriano is not a licensed librarian, Totanes said in a complaint submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Librarianship Act provides that “only qualified and licensed librarians shall be employed as librarians in all government libraries," Totanes said.

Ateneo's chief librarian asked the Ombudsman to probe the appointment for possible irregularities and liabilities, "criminal, administrative, or otherwise - relating to the acts and/or ommisions of any all persons that attended to participated in, or facilitated the nomination, selection and appointment of a patently unqualified person to the post."

On March 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Adriano as Director IV of the National Library.

Totanes said the appointment did not sit well with PLAI members.

"While recognizing and respecting the prerogative of the President of the Philippines to appoint the person of his choice, we are deeply concerned about the implications of the appointment of a non-librarian as Director of the NLP, who may be qualified in all other respects except for what we consider the most basic one: that the appointee be a licensed librarian," a statement from PLAI read.

The appointment of a person who does not possess the legal qualifications “is not only criminal, but it is also a corrupt act," Totanes said.

Totanes also said he did not raised the issue against Adriano in a bid to replace him as the National Library chief.

“To be clear, I am not interested in the post, my interest lies in safeguarding and defending our noble profession,” Totanes said.

Sought for comment on the complaint, Adriano has yet to reply on the allegations of Totanes.