Mayor: Council’s veto override illegal

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Monday, February 17, 2014


MAYOR Oscar Moreno said the Cagayan de Oro City Council majority bloc’s decision to rule against his veto Monday on some items in the 2014 executive budget is illegal.

“It (veto override) is illegal because the act is illegal,” Moreno told reporters during a press conference he called at his office Monday morning.

Moreno could have opted to ignore it on the ground that it is not legal, “but I went through the process of delivering the veto message to put things into proper perspective.”

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The City Council received the copy of the veto message addressed to Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas and the members of the legislative council on February 14, the same day Moreno crafted it.

“Nothing results from an illegal act. That is fundamental. Even if they override it, that will not change the situation,” he said.

During the City Council’s regular session Monday afternoon, the majority bloc overrode Moreno’s veto.

But even with the legislature’s move, Moreno said he would stand by his veto, and even lashed out at former mayor Vicente Emano and his son-in law President Elipe, the chair on finance, whom he believed were behind the slashing of the executive budget.

“Walay Dongkoy (Emano), walay Elipe nga makababag kanako,” Moreno said. “I will do whatever has to be done to serve the people.”

Moreno also accused the majority bloc of being callous as far as the reduction of the executive budget is concerned.

“They just don’t care what happens to the budget. Basta dili lang maalagaran ang katawhan,” he added.

The Council approved the executive budget but slashed it by around P330 million, the reason for Moreno’s vetoing of the reduction on some items of the budget.

What the majority bloc did is encroachment into domain that is reserved for the executive, Moreno said.

He said each of the three branches of government has respective functions.

“Public money can only be spent when there is an appropriation provided by law,” Moreno said.

It is prepared by executive and approved by the legislation, he said.

Arrogant

“They’re resorting to this black propaganda, these manipulative ways,” he said.

“I’m arrogant, yes, when it comes to the law. I will not soften. Nakita man nila nga I will resist. Nakita man nila nga kumo kontrolado nila ang City Council, kontrolado nila ako,” Moreno said.

“It’s not a question of arrogance, it’s a question of standing pat on your principles. Prinsipyo kini, dili ni matter of pride,” he added.

But Moreno said he is willing to work with the councilors, citing an instance when he went to the City Council last year and personally submitted the executive budget, calling it “unprecedented.”

“I went to the City Council to put forward my budget, and explained to them that this budget is not very aggressive neither it is very conservative. What matters is that it has increment,” he said.

“The problem with the present council is that they are just seeing now what has never happened before, like building of schools, the J.R. Borja Memorial Hospital, and other services. These things were not observed before,” Moreno added.

‘We stand by the approved budget’

Elipe said Monday that despite the veto of the mayor on some items on the 2014 executive budget, the City Council is not convinced to change its decision to approve the items, which Moreno disputed.

Elipe said Moreno was even thankful of the City Council for the approval of the executive budget, “although, there are some items he is not agreeable with.”

“There are no compelling reasons why the city council should change their stand,” Elipe added.

He argued that Moreno did not raise new items to be changed and the veto only cited items that have gone through exhaustive discussion by the council members during the budget hearing.

“Iyang gibarugan ang iyaha, pero whether you like it or not, among trabaho ang paghimo sa budget. Gibarugan lang pud namo ang amoa. All the items were already discussed during the approval of the budget. Nothing is new here,” Elipe said.

He said the council would bring the overridden items to the Department of Budget and Management for review. (With Loui S. Maliza and Nicole J. Managbanag)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 18, 2014.

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