MAYOR Vicente Y. Emano was recently reported as belittling the motion of Councilors Rogelio Abaday and Edgar Cabanlas to have him present his program of government. He refused to do so and simply dismissed them as trying to gain some publicity. He used the term, KSP, or 'kulang sa pansin' (lacking public attention and hungry for some).

This dismissive attitude towards members of a co-equal branch of government is an offense against the community. It elected the two councilors to play an important role in the city's administration. Without them, issues unpleasant to the administration but are vital to public interest would never get attention. To ignore them as representatives of the people also violates the principle of checks and balances in a democracy.

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Why can't Mr. Emano answer them in a forthright manner? The issue they raise is a valid one û of transparency and accountability. They have a right to know what the mayor has in mind for the city, and so does the entire community.

Among the mayor's principal duties is to 'Present the program of government and propose policies and projects for the consideration of the Sangguniang Panglungsod' at the opening of its regular session (Section 455, R.A. 7160, The Local Government Code).

But, as usual, he skipped it and arrogantly disavowed it as his duty.

Until Mr. Emano complies with this duty, (1) the city council cannot effectively relate its legislative priorities with those of the executive branch, (2) we, the people, are kept in the dark about his intentions, and (3) our development is left to his whims and caprices. This is untenable. It is a prescription for mismanagement and corruption. The people did not elect him to govern as an autocrat.

It is bad enough that he has not outgrown his bad habit of smoking in forbidden places û in full view of everyone. It is worse that long years in office have not taught him the importance of an official report on a public servant's performance.

Someone should tell him that (1) staged TV interviews and radio monologues do not qualify as an official report, (2) there is an important purpose in requiring public servants like him to render an official account of his years in office, and (3) a leader without sense of history dishonors both present and future generations.

Try getting a coherent view of Mr. Emano's record in office, now more than two decades already, first as mayor of his town, then as provincial governor for three terms, then as city mayor for three terms, as vice mayor for one, and now as mayor again. Where would a historian get an official account? You can rifle through the City Library in vain for such accounts. This is sheer disservice to the history of this city.

Email: valdehuesa@gmail.com