The document was signed by four of the five department undersecretaries, five assistant secretaries, and the directors of bureaus and offices who are all career officials of DOLE.
“We are convinced that most of which were resurrected allegations first brought to public attention last year and dismissed by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) sans an iota of merit,” the officials’ manifesto read.
It added that the issues being raised against the labor chief have been damaging the image of the department and its officials.
Last week, separate complaints were filed in the Ombudsman and the PACC against Bello for graft, dishonesty, and treason for his alleged excessive overseas travels and meeting with Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison in the Netherlands.
Bello is also accused of usurpation of authority for designating officers-in-charge (OICs) to vacant positions in the department.
“While the sinister attacks may be directed against Secretary Bello, we believe that his tormentors are willfully destroying the institution by maliciously implying that its officials merely kowtow to the Secretary’s alleged ‘unauthorized’ acts in the performance of his duties,” the manifesto said.
“If only to protect the integrity of the institution we serve, we stand strong against the evil designs propelled by obsession and wicked personal interests to destroy it. We stand firmly by the probity of Secretary Bello in leading us, and in the conduct of the affairs of the Department,” it added.
On December 6, the DOLE will be celebrating its 86th anniversary which will be graced by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“In the coming days, the institution will observe 86 years of service to the Filipino workers and the people. We will not allow such overzealous machinations to stand in the way of our pursuit of “mahusay, mabilis at malinis na serbisyo, (excellent, fast and clean service)” the manifesto said.