FORMER Cebu City legislator Gabriel Leyson may have a hard time getting the nod of Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez and administration-allied councilors if he wants to fill the vacancy in the City Council.

Councilor Rodi Cabigas shared his colleagues’ views that the current council has been doing fine under the watch of Vice Mayor Alan Bucao despite the absence of one council member.

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He said the collective stance of the administration-dominated council is that it is better not to fill the vacant slot.

Open slot

Talks are rife that Leyson is interested in taking over the vacant post, which has been left open following the oath-taking of Bucao as full-time vice mayor last month.

Bucao, who ran for councilor under Leyson’s Lakas-CMD party, took over the post of resigned Vice Mayor Lani Abarquez, his party mate who resigned last month.

Leyson, who challenged Fernandez’s reelection bid, lost in the mayoral race in the 2007 polls. Among the opposition bets, only Abarquez and Bucao won.

Bucao has joined the Alayon-Nacionalista Party and is running for vice mayor in tandem with reelectionist Fernandez.

Under the law, the party that causes the vacancy due to death, resignation, permanent incapacity or removal from office can recommend a replacement to serve the remaining unexpired term of a legislative member.

“With due respect to him (Leyson), we are not amenable to his appointment,” said Cabigas.

Open slot

He said the council has no problems with its quorum since Bucao took over as acting vice mayor in Abarquez’s absence for one year.

Cabigas found it best not to fill the vacancy for two reasons—the City can save money if the position remains vacant and the limited time to hold office due to the campaign period.

The City Government will have to allocate funds for the monthly honorarium, office staff and equipment for a new council member.

“Besides, we may go on break in our regular session because the campaign period will start next month,” Cabigas said.

But Cabigas added that they could not do anything should Leyson insist on pursuing his intention to occupy the vacancy.

However, his appointment must have concurrence from Fernandez and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, he said.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to reach Leyson to no avail. (GC)