Taguig youth council chief allowed to proceed with duties

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Monday, May 2, 2011


A LOCAL court on Monday ruled in favor of Taguig Mayor Ma. Laarni Cayetano's camp, junking the petition of her vice mayor that sought to prevent the head of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation president from doing his duties.

Pasig City Regional Court (RTC) Branch 271 Judge Paz Esperanza Cortes dismissed the petition of Vice Mayor George Elias seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO), which would have barred SK federation president Ricardo "Goma" Cruz IV from fulfilling his tasks as an ex-officio member of the Taguig City Council, including attending its future sessions.

Cortes said Elias's petition failed to prove that Cruz committed any violations and also to provide reasons to overturn the previous actions of other members of the City Council, including the Taguig mayor.

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One of these actions is the election conducted by the majority of the 28 SK chairpersons of the city wherein Cruz formally assumed federation presidency, as well as gain the right to attend City Council sessions as ex-officio member.

Reacting to the order, Taguig City Councilor Carlito Ogalinola said the court effectively declared all sessions and the passage of ordinances and resolutions carried out by the City Council as legal.

"With the order of Judge Cortes, we see clearly that the court is on our side and that all the things we've accomplished during sessions are legal. This is a huge boost to our morale, whereas it is a setback for the vice mayor's camp," Ogalinola said.

Ogalinola added that because of the court order, the attendance of Michelle Mae Gonzalez (the SK president recognized by the vice mayor's camp) in sessions conducted by Elias's group is meaningless as there is no quorum.

Aside from this, the sessions presided by Elias also violate the internal rules of procedure of the City Council since these are held Mondays at 5 p.m., instead of 3 p.m. on the same day within the session hall.

"Not only was our prescribed time and day for the conduct of sessions violated but also the site where it should be held. There were even times when they held sessions at fast-food chains or resto-bars," added Ogalinola.

The City Council has apparently split into two groups, one faction composed of Councilor Pro Tempore Gigi Valenzuela de Mesa; City Council Majority Leader Ric Jordan; Councilors Jimmy Labampa; Erwin Manalili, Bartolome, Jojo Eron, Ogalinola and Gamie San Pedro; Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) President Ome Tanyag and Cruz, all allies of Cayetano.

Elias heads the other group, which recognizes Gonzales as SK Federation president. Elias is a close ally of former Taguig city mayor now Representative Freddie Tinga whose father, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante Tinga, run for the city's mayoralty post last 2010 but lost to Cayetano.

Tinga's camp has filed an election protest before the Commission on Elections calling for a recount of the votes in the city. (AH/Sunnex)

Local news

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