CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor Lordan Suan on Monday, September 11, lectured Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy on the basic rules of parliamentary procedures, following their recent clash last week during the weekly city session.
Suan, in his special report, cited Article 1, Section 7 of Robert's Rule of Order where he pointed out that, "the right to be heard can't be taken away from a minority who wants to keep talking, until at least twice as many members are ready to shut up and vote."
It can be recalled that Uy, during the September 4 session, called out Suan for speaking without being recognized, and told the latter to sit down, in a commanding tone.
Suan said in his report that he was humiliated by the vice mayor's remark.
"Last session, I raised my hand, stood up, and proceeded to say, 'if I may' because I wanted to suggest a very quick and very short addition to the ordinance. I was actually on the majority side in that particular issue and had they heard my suggestion, I'm sure they will welcome it, but to my utter shock and dismay, I was instead angrily shouted at and told to sit down, I was wondering what did I do wrong," he said.
"The manner in which we approach the podium was exactly how councilors Leon Gan, Zaldy Ocon, and even Bong Lao do it when to say something short and very quick, but they have never been subjected to humiliation, never have they been screamed at and told to sit down.”
Suan said the vice mayor's action was "wildly disproportionate," adding that even if he already shut up but persistently raised his hands to be properly recognized, he was still ignored, even that no one was talking at the time.
Suan said if given the time, he could have explained that it was not his intention to disrespect the presiding officer.
The councilor demands that he be treated fairly, and not be singled out.
"There was no need for violence, I should be treated like everyone else and have the same rights like everybody else, good manners is not selective, a strict application of the rules is to be insisted upon and should apply equally to all members, and not just me."
"And if the presiding officer seeks to enforce order, he should do it in a manner which itself not out of order. There is no need to shout and get angry when the other person is not even resisting," he added.
He said when he presided the council once, there was only healthy discussion, as he understands that the role of presiding officer is to facilitate, and not dominate.
"True leadership should not divide but unite, if it sees an error, it should seek to instruct, not humiliate, good leadership will find ways to encourage its members to combine their efforts, inspiring them to work together," he said.
"We waste time to boost our egos, while the serious needs of our city are no longer prioritized, it is my challenge to the leadership of this council, that as public officials, we will act with civility, with restraint, and especially, with respect, to show the people what kind of leaders they have," Suan added.
Uy, however, shrugged off Suan’s arguments pointing out that the council has its own parliamentary procedure, and not the Robert's Rule as the latter cited.
Uy said he accepts the councilor's report, but is "not granted".
"Every regular members of the council has the right to speak but there is an exception, you have to wait until you are recognized, in general, ma-Robert's rule or 18th City Council parliamentary procedure, dili gyud maayo ang proceeding even the law. Dili gyud maayo musingit bisan sa unsang aspeto pa," he said.
"So wala sukad nasakto ang mosingit, I hope you understand, simple as that, we have to follow rules, the one that we approved. I'm trying to be fair, to be impartial, to hear all of you, and especially the minority side," Uy added.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 13, 2017.