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National Library exec may be liable over illegal practice of librarianship

In this April 6, 2016 file photo, Ceasar Gilbert Adriano takes his oath as the new director of the National Library of the Philippines. NCCA/Roezielle Joy Iglesia, file
MANILA, Philippines — The director of the Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila University will ask the Ombudsman to look into the admission of a National Library of the Philippines official that its head is not a librarian.
 
Vernon Totanes, who earlier questioned the appointment of Cesar Gilbert Adriano as the director of the National Library, is set to file a complaint-affidavit before the Ombudsman office on Wednesday. 
 
This is a supplement to his previous letter of complaint, filed last January 19, accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of violating the Republic Act No. 9246, or the Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003, when he appointed a non-librarian to head the the National Library. 
 
Under the law, librarian posts in government libraries must be filled by licensed librarians.
 
According to a copy of the complaint-affidavit sent to Philstar.com, OIC-Assistant Director Edgardo Quiros was quoted in a television program admitting that the National Library's director is not a licensed librarian. 
 
"It's true that he isn't a librarian. The National Library isn't just a library, so, therefore, its head, the top-level management, was not identified as a librarian,” Quiros said in Filipino in a televised interview on ABS-CBN’s "Bandila".
 
According to the notice of vacancy for item NL-NCCAC-DIR4-1-1998 posted by the Civil Service Commission in February 2016, a Director IV of the National Library of the Philippines  must have a master's degree and should be a licensed librarian. 
 
The post also requires candidates to the post to be Career Service Executive eligible and have at least five years of supervisory experience.
 
Totanes said Quiros may be held liable for Illegal Practice of Librarianship under the law.

Board of Librarians asked to look into case

"I am specifically requesting that the Ombudsman direct the Board to inquire into possible violations of the Philippine Librarianship Act, by any other person or persons who may be abetting the illegal practice of librarianship (under Section 23)," the complaint reads.
 
Under the law, the Board of Librarians "exercises executive/administrative, rule making and quasi-judicial powers in carrying out the provisions of [the Philippine Librarianship Act]." 
 
Totanes said Quiros' confirmation that Adriano is a non-librarian may be a ground for revocation of his license. He stressed the importance of the possession of the license.
 
"The Code of Ethics for Librarians states that 'librarians shall not assist in the unauthorized practice of librarianship' (Section 2.3) and that anyone found guilty of violating the Code shall be disciplined through 'revocation of his/her Certificate of Registration or suspension thereof...' ('Disciplinary Action')," the complaint reads. 
 
"As such, in assisting the non-librarian NLP Director, his OIC-Assistant Director and/or the other NLP licensed librarians may even be exposing themselves to the penalty of revocation or suspension of their Certificates of Registration, if by their acts of 'assisting' the non-librarian NLP Director rises to the level of abetting the illegal practice of librarianship," it also reads.

Ombudsman asked to charge NLP director

Totanes also requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute the non-librarian National Library director "for any criminal or administrative liabilities he may have incurred under the Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003." 
 
"For such offenses that he may have committed in relation to his office and occasioned by the fact that he is occupying the said office contrary to law," Totanes' complaint reads.
 
Totanes will also ask for the Ombudsman's assistance to direct the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians "to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties."
 
He will also ask the anti-graft office to "direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglect to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith."
 
Malacañang previously said it would look into Adriano’s appointment and said it would leave the probe to the Ombudsman.
 
Adriano, meanwhile, said he would answer the allegations against him in the proper venue.
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