Sorry for failure to seek council’s approval: mayor-A A +A
Thursday, January 23, 2014
A TALISAY City councilor questioned Mayor Johnny de los Reyes’s decision to rent out a portion of the City Hall grounds without authority from the City Council, a decision which the latter quickly apologized for.
The City Hall grounds are being used as a stockpile area for pebbles being sold by a friend of the mayor.
In a privilege speech last Tuesday, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Raul Cabañero said the P14,000 de los Reyes has received as rental was done without authority from City Council.
Cabañero, an ex-officio member of the council, said that de los Reyes has no legal authority and personality to transact business on the City’s behalf as he was not authorized by the City Council.
“It is unlawful for the mayor to transact business with anyone else without the authority by the City Council,” he said.
Cabañero added that de los Res had violated Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as he received payment for a transaction he wasn’t authorized to take part in.
Cabañero even sought the opinion of City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay, who told him that the transaction was done without a contract of lease.
As de los Reyes was present during the session, Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante suspended its House Rules to allow the mayor to answer the allegations.
The mayor explained that the sacks of pebbles were from Mindanao and was owned by a family friend who had promised to pay the City P14,000 as rental. He also clarified that the transaction was only temporarily.
De los Reyes added that he had the payment recorded at the city treasury.
Despite that, de los Reyes apologized for not informing the council of his decision.
Cabañero clarified that his speech was not intended to damage the mayor’s reputation.
“I’m just sending a strong message that we have a legislative body that is co-equal with the executive,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.