Councilor gets ire over criticism vs CTO

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


AT least three city councilors on Tuesday grilled Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang over his "repeated criticism" against the City Treasurer's Office (CTO) on real property tax delinquency, urging him to conduct committee hearings first before giving conclusions.

But, Dayanghirang explained that his "analytical presentation" stemmed from an official report of the City Legal Office that manifested a close to P2-billion delinquency.

During the privilege hour of the regular session yesterday, Councilors Karlo Bello, Victorio Advincula Jr., and Bonifacio Militar accused Dayanghirang of being "bias" against the CTO.

"In the interest of justice and fair play, he should first conduct the committee hearing, (then) invite the individuals he was referring to earlier so we can also get their side of the issue. Because when he (Dayanghirang) gave the privilege speech, he only had the opportunity to air his grievances, his accusations, etc.," Bello said in reaction to Dayanghirang's statements.

"I suggest he will refer this to the committee on finance, so that he would not go to any conclusion and try to be impartial on the issue," Bello added.

Dayanghirang reiterated that the real property tax delinquency is an issue that should not fall on deaf ears.

He presented to the other members of the council the initial findings made by the Special Action Team, led by lawyer Marlisa A. Gallo of the City Legal Office, that the total amount delinquent for real property tax in 2013 alone reached P1,878,784,783.56, an amount higher than the reported P1,115,161,330.44 as earlier revealed by Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

"Is this a source of corruption? We should act on this," Dayanghirang said.

However, Dayanghirang's statements did not sit well with the three councilors.

Advincula echoed the same opinion with Bello, urging him to conduct committee hearing.

"(This is) to further enlighten us on the proper way to handle the information that you have just given us," Advincula said.

Militar also questioned Dayanghirang on what positive actions he has done to address the issue.

"I urge the Honorable Dayanghirang to introduce a motion to solve this. Because even our city mayor (Rodrigo Duterte) said he is not amenable to close these businesses. His concern is not only on raising taxes but on social problem," Militar said.

Dayanghirang, however, clarified that he is not accusing anybody and that he just based his opinion to the report submitted by the special action team.

"I do not want to debate with Councilor Bello. That was his personal opinion. My opinion was presented on analytical presentation on what really transpired in the matter and that involved public interest. I did not add anything more, except my analysis," he said.

He also said he has conducted committee hearing on the matter since Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte pressed him on the issue.

"We take cognizance and I'm not judging like what Councilor Militar said," Dayanghirang said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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