Dagupan’s ex-dad hits Council for ‘abuse of authority’
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY- “That was misconduct and abuse of authority.”
This was declared by a former councilor here after minority members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) surreptitiously inserted in the agenda a franchise for an electronic gambling.
The assailed councilors and author of Resolution Number R. 5396 (Operation of Peryahan by Global Tech) were Luis Samson, Jr., Nicanor Aquino, and Guillermo Vallejos while Minority Leader Redford Mejia presided over the October 10 regular session.
Vice Mayor Brian Lim was the acting mayor here after Mayor Belen Fernandez was in official business in the United States.
The councilor, who asked for anonymity, explained that it would be illegal for the minority lawmakers to use the certification of SP Secretary Ryan Ravanzo that there was a quorum because Councilors Jose Netu Tamayo, Alvin Coquia, Dennis Canto, and Marvin Fabia were in an official travel in the United States.
“Those councilors marked as present was for attendance purposes only and not to be used as basis for forming a quorum and inserting a crafty agenda like resolution for an electronic gambling franchise,” the former solon explained.
The SP’s Internal Rules of Procedure on Section 5 says that “members who are not in attendance due to official business shall not form part of the quorum…”.
The value of certification that a councilor was present could be used as a defense in case he or she would be sanctioned because he violated the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160.
The Code says that absences without justifiable cause for four consecutive sessions, for which they may be censured, reprimanded, or excluded from the session, suspended for not more than sixty days, or expelled: Provided, that the penalty of suspension or expulsion shall require the concurrence of at least two-thirds vote of all the sangunian members.
The former councilor said that quorum in the 12 members council that included Vice Mayor Brian Lim in the counting should be seven. But if there are eight councilors who are present in the August Chamber a quorum is mustered and they can start the session.
“But in my long years of experience in the council, this was the first time I saw some councilors used as basis to complete a quorum four colleagues who were on official business overseas,” he said.
“Why sneak in passing the resolution? Was there a huge lobby money from Global Tech?” posed by the former solon who lamented the action of his former colleagues.
In granting a franchise like the electronic gambling, Section 60 of the Internal Rules says “As provided for under RA 7160 and its implementing rules and regulations, “a majority vote of all the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is required…”
The three who voted were still short of the needed four votes to complete the seven to complete the majority votes as mandated by Section 60 thus making the resolution illegal, another expert, who asked not to be named, said.
Global Tech, which is under the watch of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, holds office at Barangay Poblacion Oeste here.
Its main office is at Plaza Building, 1507 Princetown Street, corner Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.
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