FOLLOWING the boxing match between two councilors on September 12, the Bacolod City Council recently amended its internal rules to impose sanctions against its erring members.
It can be recalled that Councilor Claudio Puentevella and Councilor Dindo Ramos engaged in a verbal spat due to a difference in opinion during the deliberation on the contract to be entered by the city government with garbage hauler IPM Construction and Development Corporation.
But the heated exchange escalated, which prompted Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran to call for a recess.
During the break, both Puentevella and Ramos stood from their chairs. Puentevella then attacked Ramos.
Members of the August body, in hopes that it won’t happen again, amended its internal rules, which was authored by Councilors Caesar Distrito, Renecito Novero, and Ana Marie Palermo.
Distrito said one of the salient amendments for the disciplinary sanctions is the definition of disorderly behavior which is committed when one of its members inflict verbal or physical pain, harm or threat against a fellow member, staff or any person inside the premises of the session hall, which includes, challenging a fist fight, a duel or any similar or related acts.
A member can be suspended for not more than 60 days by a vote of at least two-thirds of all council members with the effect of barring the member to participate in the deliberations and forfeiture of salary during the period, he added.
Also, the council imposed restrictions in the session hall such as carrying of firearms and deadly weapon; wearing of shorts or slippers; standing in front of the railings; displaying of placards and streamers; taking pictures unless authorized; clapping or talking aloud; distribution of leaflets or other documents not coursed through authorized personnel; loitering; impropriety or inappropriate behavior; all mobile phones must be in silent mode; and use of radio. Violators will be removed from the hall.
Bottom line, why public officials, as well as the public, still needed to be reminded of the proper decorum?