Saturday July 21, 2018

Bzzzzz: Why Labella, Andales' quorum count differed

WAS there a quorum in the Cebu City Council when eight councilors identified with Team Rama boycotted last Tuesday’s (Oct. 4) session?

Vice Mayor Edgar Labella said 10 members were needed to constitute a quorum. Councilor Sisinio Andales said only 9.5 or nine were required.

Sixteen regular councilors plus one ex-officio member and the vice mayor equals 18, divided by two equals 9, plus one equals 10.

How did Andales make his count? He didn’t include one seat, which Councilor Hanz Abella vacated. His count was only 17: 15 councilors plus Labella and ABC’s Philip Zafra. The Local Government Code, however, says “majority of all members elected and qualified.” Thus, Abella’s seat is counted in determining a quorum. It would’ve been different had there been only 15 councilors who were elected and qualified.

Still the City Council transacted business. No one questioned it. Maybe someone would if the City Council voted on a transaction that required a two-thirds vote and the vote fell short.

Melania’s fashion

When U.S. First Lady Melania Trump deplaned Air Force One in Carolina, Puerto Rico in Tuesday, she wore an olive green jacket, a baseball cap, aviator shades, white skinny jeans and Timberland boots.

But her ensemble, when she boarded that plane, was “180 degrees” different: black cropped pants, a Victoria Beckham navy blue wool turtle neck sweater and matching pumps.

Same thing happened in her previous trips with President Trump: complete switch of outer garments on boarding the plane and on disembarking.

So what? Her critics can’t stop her from doing a fashion show even amid calamity. And she can’t stop critics from noticing and commenting.

Tomas likes it

Mayor Tomas Osmeña on the bocyott of eight Team Rama councilors from Tuesday’s session: “I hope they protest like this every week.”

But next week, they’ll be “baaack.”