Official: Boycott suspends council session-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
A BACOLOD City councilor considered the absence of majority of City Council members in Wednesday’s session as a “boycott,” despite top officials saying it’s not.
"I consider it as a boycott. This is first time in my own experience since I became councilor in 1995," said Councilor Archie Baribar.
Baribar confirmed that the City Council session was suspended because of lack of quorum.
Those who attended the session were Councilors Baribar, El Cid Familiaran, Sonya Verdeflor, Elmer Sy, and Catalino Alisbo.
Grupo Progreso Councilors Dindo Ramos, Al Victor Espino, Bobby Rojas, Manuel Keith Ramos, Homer Bais, Caesar Distrito, Carl Lopez, Mona Dia Jardin and Em Ang did not show up, as most of them were on official leave.
Ramos said he was not able to attend because he suffered from hypertension.
Councilors Distrito and Ang were on sick leave, while Councilor Lopez is out of the country and Councilor Jardin also on travel.
Councilor Espino forgot that it was Wednesday and they had a scheduled session, but he said he cannot also come because he could hardly walk.
"I don't know what went wrong. But my own interpretation is that the absence of the nine members of council might be a fall-out of the group because of the choice of the vice mayor," said Baribar.
Reports are circulating that the reason for the absence of the nine members of Grupo Progreso in Wednesday’s session was they did not accept the decision of the Nationalist People's Coalition's (NPC) national officers to nominate former councilor Greg Gasataya as the party’s official candidate for vice mayor.
There was lack of proper consultation as to the choice of the vice mayor, the disgruntled councilors reportedly said.
But Vice Mayor Jude Sayson denied this, saying: "We need three more to have a quorum but it might be that (the absent councilors) have other concerns.”
He said that usually, there are only one or two councilors who are absent every time they conduct their session, adding “there was no life and death concerns included in the agenda” on Wednesday.
For Mayor Evelio Leonardia, “it is always difficult to please everybody. But we will try to keep things in proper order and we will have a 'wait and see' attitude on this matter." (CNC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 27, 2012.