CLO: Leonardia ‘suspension’ a diversionary tactic-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
THE reported suspension order imposed against Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia was a diversionary tactic, Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said Wednesday.
Bayatan said he was appointed OIC of the Office of the Mayor since Monday because Leonardia is in Iloilo attending a Commission on Audit seminar from September 17 to 21.
He said that Book 1, Section 46 of the Local Government Code provides that the local chief executive may designate an OIC in his absence for a period of three days. On the fourth day, the vice mayor will automatically assume the Office of the Mayor, even if Leonardia will issue a directive or not.
Upon the termination of the three day period, the Vice Mayor will assume the power of the Mayor in his absence, he added.
Bayatan said the Mayor has appointed him as OIC since the Vice Mayor has his own legislative and administrative functions. Incidentally, the Vice Mayor has to preside over the session Wednesday.
There is a jurisprudence of the Supreme Court which said that if the Vice Mayor is appointed acting Mayor, he cannot preside over the session under the principle of separation of powers, he said.
Bayatan said it would be better to maintain the present status quo where the absence of the Mayor will not interrupt the present set up at the SP.
Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said “I do not know why it only became an issue now,” adding that “Every time the Mayor is out, he designates an OIC.”
Sayson said that usually it is the Secretary to the Mayor or City Administrator, adding that in this case, since the Secretary and City Administrator are both OICs, he felt it was better to designate the CLO.
If the Mayor has not returned from the seminar in Iloilo, under the law, he will automatically become the acting Mayor even without the issuance of a memorandum, Sayson said.
“I believe this is purely political. It is trying to drum up something of media value,” he said.
Bayatan said if there was a suspension, the order of succession will follow and the Vice Mayor will automatically become acting Mayor and the first councilor acting Vice Mayor.
Bayatan said these things have political color because there is a news item in a national paper that came out that is “tastier” than the issue of suspension. He said it was about the conjugal house of Bacolod Representative Anthony Golez Jr. that his legitimate wife ordered padlocked.
Bayatan said he believes that if the suspension issue has political color, it will come from a politician who is in a predicament worse than the issue of suspension. He said he is referring to the camp of Golez.
Since he has nothing to say about the private life of the Mayor, so he will make a political issue as a diversionary tactic, he added. (Carla N. Canet)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 20, 2012.