THE boycott staged by the opposition members of the Cebu City Council during Tuesday’s regular session was to preempt their being outnumbered by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). There were crucial items to be voted upon in the agenda at that time like the Annual Investment Plan (AIP), which includes several appropriations for the barangays through the city planning office.
Barug Team Rama councilors claimed they did it to show their sympathy to their colleague, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Philip Zafra, who was the target of an ouster move by the BOPK camp. They also said they were protesting the intervention of the “former political has-been” in legislative affairs.
“Our protest is but a manifestation of our strong commitment to upholding the independence of this council and the principles of democratic participation, public accountability, checks and balances, and the rule of law,” part of their statement said. But that was merely to justify their boycott.
Had it been for Zafra, why was it done only last Tuesday? They could have walked out in last week’s session at the height of the heated debate on Zafra’s case. Besides, BOPK Councilor Sisinio “Bebs” Andales, the proponent of the ouster move, had withdrawn his motion sensing he could be “beaten black and blue” by even non-lawyer members in the council. The opposition’s sympathy for Zafra was therefore “water under the bridge,” so to speak.
As for the “intervention” by the executive in legislative affairs, the opposition councilors and even the public already know the “dictatorial attitude” of the “former political has-been.” He wants to impose his whims and caprices on anybody thinking he is too powerful. So, what’s new?
Actually, the opposition did not have the numbers at that time. Councilor Joy Pesquera was on official leave while Councilor Raymond Garcia was in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Nagminaru ug nanayming pod ang taga-BOPK adtong panahona. Inserted in the agenda was the AIP and the P50 million appropriation for the fencing of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill, which was questioned by the opposition, and other budgetary resolutions.
But it was good that Councilor Margot Osmeña, the proponent of those resolutions, listened to the advise of the presiding officer, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, to defer the passage of those resolutions to the next session as these need thorough discussion. She said she also wants to hear the opposition’s side on the matter.
Naisahan pod ang taga-BOPK. Imagine if the opposition councilors attended the session and there was a division of the house, the administration councilors could have easily passed those resolutions. Usahay, lipat-lipat ug minaruay ra man na diha sa konseho. Kun ang publiko pod malipat, aw, maapil sab ta sa drama.
Atong atangan sa sunod sesyon kun unsa unyay mahitabo.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2017.
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