One Year in the City Council

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


THROWBACK -- As if it was only yesterday. Time flew so swiftly and one year passed and most of us even failed to notice. It might be recalled that in June 30 last year, me and the other elected officials who were proclaimed winners in the election of May 13 were sworn in.

Days before our induction, reelected Vice-Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting invited the elected members of the Angeles City Council into a caucus and tackled certain issues, and that was the first time I got to meet some of my colleagues up close and personal.

The very respectful and amiable Edu Pamintuan, Mayor Edpam's son, Danica Lacson, daughter of former Councilor Dan Lacson, Amos Rivera, younger brother of prominent lawyer and former councilor Willie Rivera, the suave Alex Indiongco, Jericho Aguas, the handsome husband of actress Isabel Granada, lawyer Arvin 'Pogs' Suller and the very beautiful Maricel ‘Marang' Morales. They compose the majority.

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Me, lawyer Bryan Nepomuceno, son of former Vice-Governor Robin Nepomuceno and Cutcut Barangay Captain Cecil and businessman Carmelo 'Pogi' Lazatin, Jr. completed the cast. We represent the minority bloc.

Even before the first regular session started, there were divergent views which surfaced, but as we progressed along, there were some meeting of the minds, and sessions went smoothly. There were times though, just like in any meeting of a collegial body, heated discussions cannot be avoided.

DIFFERENT WAYS - I was first elected councilor in 1988 under the winning tandem of the late Antonio Abad Santos and Edgardo Pamintuan. Council sessions were held at the Morlan building, the two storey building opposite the INC church along the Macarthur Highway. The sessions were called on time, late reporting and absences were very seldom. We were courteous with one another. No grandstanding. Sponsorship of measures were presented and well studied. No technical help during plenary sessions. There were intelligent discussions between councilors, and not with technical people employed by the city government. Now I remember those days, and my former colleagues’ voices are ringing now on my ears as I write this piece.

Many of them already kicked the bucket so to speak, and maybe are now in heaven and conducting their own sessions up there and reliving their glory days on earth. There was the likeable Dr. Ramon Moreno, Magno Pangilinan, long time serving Barangay Captain Pacito Pabalan, the two lawyers, Teresito 'Sitong' Buan and Charlie Sandico. And the two other members who represented their sectors, then ABC president Thelmo Lalic and Jeff Lopez.

Surviving members are Ric Zalamea, Lito Ganzon, Marianne Dayrit and me. Nothing but memories now of those times.

MY REPORT CARD - I was elected as the minority floor leader. Initially I was denied of any committee though I am suited most to be chairman of the committee on economic zones because of my experience as former director of Clark Development Corporation, Clark International Airport Corporation and the parent company Bases Conversion Development Authority. It was only when I pointed out that under the internal rules and procedure of the council that each member should be given at least one committee chairmanship. They awarded me the committee on senior citizens. The majority members get two, three plum committees to chair.

As minority floor leader with the help of Bryan Nepomuceno and Pogi Lazatin, we were able to fiscalize presented measures, especially expenditures of the city government. Never was I late on the scheduled 2 p.m. sessions and never absented myself except in one occasion, when the majority held a nighttime session in Tagaytay City.

A good number of resolutions filed by majority members which are beneficial to the city I supported, and a good number of resolutions I filed were equally approved. One fruitful year passed, and each one of us is looking forward for another better year.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 04, 2014.

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