WITH reference to your column (Bad start at City Hall, Sun.Star 12 July 2010), I would like to make the following reactions:
The issue about Mr. Ave Laquindanum has been clarified with Mr. Bong Lacson (my reply has been published for everyone to read) and other friends in media, and I believe that it is now resolved to the best interest of all concerned.
On political peace in the city, I also mentioned in my reply that all the councilors will be given their legal and appropriate shares in the number of staff and even job orders. But at present, we have not yet appointed or reappointed a single job order personnel, and we will remain steadfast to our commitment that job orders will never be ghost employees but active staff of concrete projects and programs with clear objectives.
Further, the issue of room assignments is the prerogative of the City Council headed by Vice Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting. I believe that the members of the council could collectively resolve this matter from among themselves. But the truth Tata Ram is, there are only four available offices for 12 councilors and that two councilors will have to occupy one office. These four offices will be distributed to the 10 newly elected councilors, not one councilor can just arrogate unto himself one of the four rooms. The vice mayor should have been informed of any major policy movement or activities as a sign of respect at least.
We maintain that the "donation" of the vehicles is patently illegal notwithstanding the court decision which dismissed the TRO due to mere technicality (a Motion for Reconsideration has been filed assailing the dismissal and compliance has already been filed). The Court of Appeals did not touch on the substance or merit of the petition though, so we expect that our petition will be granted. It was an act filled with vindictiveness and has only one objective - that is to paralyze the city government and lay the blame on my administration.
Overall, the real issues at hand are not those mentioned above. The real issues are known to the people of Angeles City - uncollected garbage, unpaid salaries and wages of employees, thousands of ghost employees, lack of social services, debts amounting to millions and millions of pesos, and many more. At "isang term pa lang yan!"
Our city used to be one of the premier cities of the country. But presently, we are in deep economic and social quagmire, no thanks to the systematic plunder of our finances and resources coupled with mismanagement of the past administration.
There are lots of things that we must do and much more to undo. And I hope that you as a member of the media could help us in these undertakings.
Mayor Ed Pamintuan
Angeles City, Pampanga