La Trinidad council back in full force-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The start of the New Year beckons for the entire local council here.
A full quorum is anticipated as the last batch of councilors have served their preventive suspension over violations of section 3(a) of Republic Act 3019 or the anti- graft practices law.
Vice Mayor Romeo Salda, Councilors Arthur Shontogan and Esterella Adeban are set to return to their duties as legislators of the town.
During the hiatus of vice mayor Salda, Councilor Jim Botiwey served as presiding officer for the legislative body, being the top alderman in the 2009 elections.
Mediation proceedings are set to commence next week for the two parties in a hope to resolve the case.
The entire council was suspended based in the decision on December 2010 declaring journalist Jimmy Laking “personan non grata” for his alleged biased reporting, a graft case was filed thereafter.
Courts ruled “all the elements of graft were present, which including their being public officials who acted with manifest impartiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence which action caused undue injury to [Laking].”
The case is a first in the in the Philippines, initially putting the municipality in a quandary on how to handle the legislative body’s mandatory preventive suspension.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 03, 2013.