Turf wars-A A +A
Straight from Carolinas
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
THE reactions to the events that took place at the Cagayan de Oro City Council’s session a week ago may be a case of too early and too late for some watchers.
Please bear with my personal recollection as I relate my present train of thought to the issue at hand. When I was young, I would listen to the debates in Congress as part of an assignment in Social Studies given by Mrs. Realiana Tapulgo, on how a bill becomes a law.
At that time, I used an old transistor radio that conked out sometimes and I had to place the battery atop a big stone to recharge it as Nanay (mother) advised.
This assignment introduced me to the voices of Senators Tañada, Salonga, Roxas and Manglapus. As they talked in the halls of Congress, to me it was music to my ears, even better than Diego Salvador, a radio drama.
It piqued and fuelled my interest and respect for eloquent, witty and intellectual discourses on politics. Back then, I would compare the city council as Congress and I like listening to former councilor (and later congressman) Erasmo Damasing and fellow councilors during his time.
My first assignment was the city council; those were the days too when each member came prepared for the session especially bringing special reports.
For the privileged press people a copy of the report is leaked before the councilor delivered it in the old session hall; even the English language is given attention (I don’t want to quarrel with those who speak the dialect, but there are certainly a few legislators who have too much faith in their ability to speak the King’s language so to speak).
But even in those years, any thought of “check and balance” is lost in the presence of that great “hurricane from Tagoloan” town. Such a concept lies only within law books for if the executive and legislative departments happen to be political allies, independence is the last thing one expects to come out from their arrangement.
Under this “marriage”, the council is but a rubber stamp that opens their collective mouths only to burp and say “yes (master).”
Even students with an elementary knowledge of politics know that the government is divided into the executive, legislative and judiciary with each having its own power and jurisdiction.
The check and balance is there to avoid abuse of power by each department but there are times when anyone of them encroaches on each other’s turf unseen and unnoticed to the resentment and hostility of the other.
Now onto the main issue; there were reports that Councilors Teodolfo “Bong” Lao, Zaldy Ocon and Eric Salcedo bolted the local Liberal Party (LP) chapter after they allowed their mayor to be pilloried by the vice-mayor in broken English.
Not only have they condoned the “great oration” of the vice-mayor, but they even joined the majority Padayon Pilipino bloc in the council in calling for an investigation in the so-called “snopake” or alleged falsified signing of papers on contracts and projects.
Duh, it’s too early for these councilors to bolt the LP party, so there’s no reason to be alarmed. Trust me, the minority LP is merely exercising its role to look out for the public interest as expected of them by their constituents.
Their support for an impartial investigation sends the signal that they are not “sit-down puppies” like their Padayon Pilipino counterparts were during the dispensation of their beloved master Sendongkoy.
Let both LP and Padayon Pilipino councilors vent their sentiments, it’s about time the City Council received a blood transfusion of independence following their coma-like state under the previous administration.
And talk of bolting one’s party does make good headlines after all. I just wondered why it took Vice-mayor Ian Acenas 15 years to open his mouth and speak out.
This is a case of too late-“atrasado.” The result is “agawhaw.”
On a side note, these 50 appointed legislative personnel were so lucky to grab the attention and the outrage of the Padayon Pilipino council bloc. By the way, do these “honorable” really need all 50 legislative assistants!
Good gracious what are they trying to do, codify the laws of the entire Philippines?
These 50 personnel must be so privileged that they received appointments even on a monthly basis because there are other applicants who are neither identified with Emano or Moreno who toil for days applying for the same job.
Yeah, I knew there are some intelligent people who are civil service eligible and yet have no chance to work in government not because they’re ugly but because they don’t have an Acenas to stand up for them.
I knew many but I would just name just one; Mars Daling Gabutan, a math major, a MUST graduate, a MOGHS science class member and civil service eligible, among her credentials.
She asked me for help because she has nobody to help her until now. She has no news about any openings at City Hall and I told her that I’ve written to some friends who answered yet. I may consider asking Vice Mayor Acenas to include Gabutan as the 51st employee in his favored legislative pool of assistants.
Now back to my opinion in the matter: I still think the executive department should have also informed the legislative office of the reason why it opted to have monthly appointments and offer options. Courtesy begets courtesy.
Do not “snoooopake” immediately. If you couldn’t endure seeing their faces, at least text or email them. Without having to grandstand, Acenas does make sense.
Concerning office supplies and other materials, so long as there is an urgent need to procure them, then it should be approved also. But there is no need for the council to file cases and conduct “unsa man lugar” investigation in aid of appointment.
What happened is quite sad which means the executive and legislative departments still have a long way to go in working for the common interest of the people.“Estorya ra na.”
As for Honorables BongLao, Zaldy Ocon and Don Enrico Salcedo and pacifier Kagawad Roger Abaday and Candy Darimbang, expect more fireworks in the course of your being a member of the Moreno administration.
Mayor Moreno has a different mindset of public service; as to his record at the Provincial Capitol would tell the personnel are the last to taste the wages of government service.
There will be times when the executive department will try to increase its powers by encroaching on the functions of other branches of government, sometimes for the best of motives.
I think this is what Moreno is doing right now. To Kagawad Lao, et al, just hold your horses.
Straight from Carolinas would extend a belated birthday greetings to, Mrs. Villie Sabio of Charlotte, NC. She turned 73 last Friday with the presence of her children, grandchildren, relatives and friends. Nang Villie is the widow of the late, Dr. Leo Sabio, who before coming to US served as Municipal Doctor of Tagoloan, MisOr. She told me she has nothing to ask for having been blessed with a wonderful family. On said occasion, Dedith Sabio-Arellano and family (who are based in NY) came to celebrate the birthday. Dedith is the daughter of the late Manuel V. Sabio, younger brother of Dr. Leo. Happy Birthday Nang. Villie.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 20, 2013.