JVR threatens: Fewer workers

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Thursday, February 13, 2014


TALISAY City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes has threatened to slash the number of job-order employees that can be hired by councilors who belong to the Alayon Party.

He included one of his allies in the threat. This, after the Talisay City Council opposed a proposal to give the mayor blanket authority to enter into contracts and transactions worth P3 million or less.

But while some of the councilors said they were resigned to Mayor de los Reyes’ decision, others immediately criticized it.

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Claiming that the councilors who opposed to the proposal were trying to sabotage his administration, de los Reyes said he plans to cut their job-order quotas from 50 to only five.

“Wa ko’y mahimo, wala man sila mi-support nako. Ako untang gusto nga malipay ta, magkauban ta pero mogawas man gyud nga dautan ko ug tulisan ko (I can’t do anything since they refuse to support me. What I want is for everyone to be happy and united, but they have accused me of doing bad things and being a thief),” de los Reyes said.

Council’s duty

Last Tuesday, Talisay City Councilors Aldin Diaz, Socrates Fernandez, Richard Francis Aznar, Doroteo Emit, Antonio Bacaltos Jr., Eduardo Gullas III, Edward Alesna and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Raul Cabanero refused to give the blanket authority to the city mayor.

Except for Diaz, the councilors who voted against giving blanket authority to de los Reyes are members of the Alayon Party.

Alayon’s leader, the veteran congressman and former city mayor Eduardo Gullas, lost to de los Reyes in one of the most surprising results in the May 2013 elections.

His allies, however, compose the majority in the Talisay council.

Diaz, an ally of the city mayor, said he decided to vote against giving blanket authority to de los Reyes as it would have affected the City Council’s role of scrutinizing all transactions made by the executive department.

He added that despite their political differences, the council’s majority and minority blocs have always supported Mayor de los Reyes’ programs for the city.

Shaky truce

Diaz said that if de los Reyes pushes through with his plan, it could mean the end of friendly terms between the Alayon Party and the mayor.

Diaz and De los Reyes are both members of the Liberal Party.

For Fernandez, De los Reyes’ move would be improper.

“Dili na gyud na makiangayon ang iyang gibuhat (If he does that, it would not be just),” Fernandez told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Fernandez, the former city mayor, said that while he was given blanket authority during his time, the City Council of his administration eventually took back that authority.

He added that de los Reyes is also being “ungrateful” despite the Alayon-allied councilors’ gesture of protecting the city mayor from future litigation.

For Aznar, who is majority floor leader, removing their quota falls within de los Reyes’ prerogative as city mayor.

Also during its regular session last Tuesday, the Talisay City Council approved the reorganization of chairmanships for its 24 committees.

Committees

But Councilor Dennis Basillote accused the council’s Alayon bloc of grave abuse, after he was removed as chairman of the committees on education and urban planning and development, two committees that he had held for almost three terms.

Basillote was instead assigned as chairman of the committees on international affairs and senior citizens’ affairs, which he declined.

Basillote used to belong to the Alayon Party before he defected to the LP after the 2013 barangay elections.

During the session, Fernandez explained that the reorganization was implemented due to the vacancy of the post formerly held by Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) president Carmel John Burlas and Cabanero’s entry.

Aznar said that there was nothing unfair with the reorganization as some of the city mayor’s allies were given more committee chairmanships compared to the previous year.

Diaz said he believes that the reorganization of committee chairmanships was meant to promote equal footing within the council.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 13, 2014.

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