Bzzzzz: 3 councilors to give Barug 10-8 control over Cebu City Council

CEBU. (From left) Outgoing Councilors Jerry Guardo and Joel Garganera, and Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak. (SunStar File)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* BONG GO SAYING "IT'S LIKE I'M GOING TO SCHOOL" when he attended the orientation for newly elected senators Tuesday, June 25.

Maybe because he had never been a legislator, not even in a barangay or town "sanggunian" or council. And most of the time when he was an aide to the president, much of his interest was in photo-bombing. He will have the chance to show what he knows, or does not know, when the Senate sessions begin on July 22.

* LUIGI QUISUMBING BEING IN SWITZERLAND and most likely won't be in Cebu during the transition of power in Mandaue City Hall. Luigi is outgoing mayor and his ally in 2016, Representative onas Cortes, will take his place.

Transition messages

At the Cebu Capitol, incoming Vice Governor Hilario Davide III said he will "try to make friends with" the incoming governor. But outgoing Vice Governor Agnes Magpale expressed the "hope and prayer that you (the Provincial Board) continue to embrace the challenging task of legislation ... guided by a firm belief and strong conviction that the legislative department is an institution whose integrity and independence must be upheld at all times and at all costs."

Junjun talks of trying to make friends with Gwen, even as Agnes talks of a legislature that is "independent" of Capitol's executive department.

Independence may be the first casualty in friendship, depending upon the stance of Junjun as presiding officer of the Provincial Board and how much "obstruction" he and the PB members behind him will mount against the new governor.

At the Cebu City Council, three-term councilors were given plaques of recognition during its session Tuesday, June 25: Margot Osmeña, Alvin Arcilla and Sisenio Alvarez. Did the City Council in effect recognize that Arcilla and Alvarez already completed three consecutive terms, for which they face disqualification and removal? Some of those in the gallery were smiling, noting the double meaning of the award.

Explainer on passport issue

Can Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. cancel the diplomatic status of former ambassadors and diplomats, which include that of ex-foreign affairs chief Albert del Rosario who was detained last June 11 in Hong Kong?

The law, Republic Act #8239 or Philippine Passport Act of 1996, enumerates the grounds for cancellation of a passport and the persons who may be granted a courtesy diplomatic passport. It does not give the foreign affairs secretary the discretion to order cancellation of passports for a reason other than what the law provides.

A diplomatic passport does not provide immunity, only courtesies at ports of entry, a convention in the international community.

Shifting to Barug

Partido Barug is confident it will soon have control of the Cebu City Council.

After the May 13 election results, BOPK loomed as the dominant party in the City Council at 11 (9 +2) vs. 7. That may change once elected councilors Bebs Andales and Alvin Arcilla will lose their seats. Alvin already has lost his and Bebs may follow suit. Comelec's en banc decision affirmed the division ruling and later became final when no Supreme Court temporary restraining order was issued for Arcilla. Bebs' case is expected to go the same route as Alvin's soon.

Jerry Guardo of BOPK and Joel Garganera of Barug, being #9 and #10, respectively, move up once the process unravels. Guardo already expressed his intention to support Barug. So did BOPK Councilor Dave Tumulak.

That would eventually give Barug three more councilors and take away three from BOPK, resulting in a 10- against-eight vote, in Barug's favor. A two-vote majority is still thin, especially that some councilors have the annoying habit of going to the comfort room during a crucial vote. If a tie occurs though, Barug's Mike Rama, vice mayor and City Council presiding officer, can break the tie for his party.


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