City seeks opinion on new legal officer’s appointment-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
THE Tacloban City Government is waiting for the opinion of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in its need for a new legal officer approved by the City Council.
City Administrator John Tecson Lim said, although the appointment paper of lawyer Chloe Fiel was already signed by Mayor Alfred Romualdez last June 1, 2012, her appointment letter was not immediately forwarded to the City Council.
During their session last Wednesday, council members raised the legality of Fiel’s representation of the City Government despite her not yet being confirmed by the council.
“She had the authority to represent the City Government because her appointment is valid and what she is doing is valid,” Lim said.
He said the reason why they are asking the DILG’s opinion on the matter is that the Local Government Code of the Philippines is silent on the need for confirmation of a legal officer by the City Council.
“Her confirmation will not void her initial appointment. Meaning, once she is appointed, there is the presumption that she will be confirmed which means from the time she was appointed until such time that her appointment is confirmed she already have the authority,” Lim said.
He said they are confident that Fiel’s appointment will be approved by the City Council, but he said they will still wait for the DILG’s advice.
Defending the residency of Fiel who is from Ormoc, Lim said it is better that an official appointed by the mayor is not from Tacloban to avoid any personal biases.
“Although she’s not from here, she is willing to help us and the mayor has full confidence on her that she can do her job well as the city legal officer,” Lim said.
In the deliberation of the ordinance creating a city legal department, several corrections were raised by the members of the council, to include the term “coterminous” with local chief executive, reducing the amount of Rata (representation and transportation allowances) and reducing the number of lawyers to be hired by the City Government.
Reacting to this, the city administration said the number of lawyers to be hired by the City Government (about 11 lawyers to include the city legal officer) is important as the City Government needs lawyers who will represent them in court cases.
“The City Government has a lot of cases that need to be represented by lawyers; ordinances that need to be checked; hearings that need to be attended, and legal assistance that the Taclobanons and department offices need. It is important to have a group of lawyers that can attend to them,” Lim said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)