"HE NEVER filed a formal written resolution included in the agenda nor did Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) ever made a positive act rejecting said motion."
This was stressed by Councilor Archie Baribar after Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. announced last week that his colleagues at SP allegedly rejected his resolution asking for a coronavirus virus disease (Covid-19) fund audit.
On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, the SP approved a resolution requesting the Office of the City Accountant, City Treasurer's Office, and the City Budget Office through the Office of the City Mayor to furnish the SP of an update on the status, expenditures and balance of the P119 million Bayanihan grant from the national government from its receipt until September 15, 2020.
The resolution was authored by Baribar and co-authored by the 13 councilors including Gamboa.
Baribar said in its September 10 virtual session, the SP, after it finished its regular agenda and an item in its addendum, was presented with a motion from the floor, the tenor of which is for the budget office to submit a liquidation report of the P119 million Bayanihan grant from the national government.
"Considering that the said motion was not in writing nor was part of its regular agenda and was made at around 1:20 p.m. or past lunch when members of the council were about to adjourn, the same motion failed to get a second, as a second would mean further discussion, extending the virtual session and taxing the limits of other members especially the immuno-compromised," he said.
He added that the proponent, Gamboa, graciously acknowledged that the members might already be hungry and he himself immediately moved for an adjournment. The proponent's immediate motion to adjourn was taken in good faith as it precluded any motion to lay on the table or to postpone having made an oral acknowledgment that the members may be hungry.
Baribar noted that while the motion was not seconded, the same was not ruled as failed by the presiding officer, thus, the subject matter may be or can be refilled by the next session.
"It is then of great surprise to the members of the SP, collectively and individually, when said proponent immediately went media-hopping after the September 10 session recklessly stating before the public that the SP shun call for Covid-19 fund audit," Baribar said.
He said the pronouncements before the media, if not clarified, tend not only to cast aspersion on the SP and its members but may make them criminally or administratively liable. He said the truth is that the SP did not shun the call for audit as they did not consider it timely for discussion.
"That 'ginbasura ang iya resolution' is misleading, as he never filed a formal written resolution included in the agenda nor did the SP ever made a positive act rejecting said motion," he added.
Baribar said while it was then a great surprise that proponent himself immediately moved, for an adjournment without giving chance for a motion to table or to lay on the table or postpone to be passed, the same in retrospect maybe taken as done with malice and bad faith in the light of his media-hopping conduct thereafter.
"To dispel all malicious interpretations and insinuations on the lack of second in that motion and to emphasize that all members are one for transparency and accountability, it is but proper that a formal resolution be refilled the proper officials of the city for an update on the status, expenditures and balance, of said funds," he said.