The controversy between former film director of the Film Academy of the Philippines Leo Martinez and current director general Vivian Velez is unfortunate. This is due to the demand of Leo’s retirement pay amounting to one million. She had already received half of it, but Vivian refused to give the other half because according to her, she did not know how the basis was then and whether it was legal to provide retirement. In the opinion of his legal team, it should not be paid and must first be referred to the Office of the President who has supervision in the FAP.
Leo Martinez wrote to Malacañang and said he had to charge the other half of his retirement pay. He said he needed it because he also had to pay a lot, buy his medicine, pay for the doctor, and the fact that he did not have a job and could not leave the house since the lockdown.
Malacañang’s action, however, returned the problem to Vivian Velez who said she should make the decision on those matters. That is where the resentment comes from.
We have no question about Leo’s claims, as they were approved by their board of governors then. But we were really surprised that a director general was paid that way, and his retirement pay was so high, while the academy always complained that they had no money.
We did not hear that former director generals Manuel de Leon, Manay Ichu Maceda, Atty. Espiridion Laxa, Eddie Romero and others. Did they also have a salary and retirement pay?
It was not clear to us when those things actually began.
But I hope they fix the problem and dominate what is right.