SK leader serves 60-day suspension-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
AFTER juggling schoolwork with public duties, a young official in one of Cebu’s towns served a suspension for 60 working days.
Before his suspension began last December 16, 2012, Tuburan Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President Bret Monsanto had tried to persuade the town council to hold its session at least one Saturday each month.
Instead of approving his resolution, however, the council agreed to suspend him for “habitual absences.” They approved the sanction last Nov. 11 and implemented it a little over a month later.
The councilors said they had called Monsanto’s attention twice, but he “deliberately continues to incur more absences, brazenly explaining that he has the right to an education, claiming that attending sessions is only one of his many duties as SK president, and that his absences do not compromise the service to his constituents.”
Monsanto said he will abide by the council’s resolution.
He also said he was trying his best to attend their sessions, but was finding it difficult since he is taking up legal management in the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
The council’s rules state that four consecutive absences from the sessions, if done without justifiable cause, is punishable by suspension or expulsion. Approval by two-thirds of the council’s members is needed.
The suspension is contained in Resolution 2012-87, which describes the young ex-officio councilor’s absences as “unjustifiable and irresponsible.”
Tuburan’s sessions are held every Monday.
Monsanto said the suspension overtook his resolution that suggested holding a session at least one Saturday each month.
He is not blaming his colleagues, though, saying they were just strictly following the rules.
Monsanto said he got frustrated when he tried attending all the sessions for a month during the semestral break, but his colleagues were either absent so there was no quorum, or the sessions were suspended for the holidays.
He received an assurance, though, that after his suspension, the council will try to amend the house rules to accommodate one Saturday session in each month.
And if that doesn’t happen?
Monsanto said he will ask for his university’s guidance regarding the conflict in schedules. He said he has been keeping a low profile in the campus and has not informed them of his public duties back home.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2013.