BHA head won’t give up private lawyering

NEWLY installed Bacolod Housing Authority (BHA) head Aireen Bonghanoy Wednesday told the City Council that she will not give up her private law practice in favor of her BHA appointment.

She said she has been practicing law for 11 years now, and she would rather give up the BHA post than her private lawyering.

Bonghanoy was invited by the Council to attend the regular session Wednesday in relation to the concurrence by the City Council of her appointment as BHA head.

Councilor Archie Baribar had asked Bonghanoy if she is willing to give up her private law practice, and she said she cannot, adding that she was even authorized by suspended Mayor Monico Puentevella and acting Mayor Greg Gasataya to continue her private lawyering.

She was appointed by Puentevella as city legal officer to replace resigned Rayfrando Diaz.

But when Acting Mayor Greg Gasataya took over Puentevella last November 16, he also appointed Jovy Dioso as the new city legal officer.

Bonghanoy then pursued her pending application for a permanent position as BHA head, which was eventually approved by Gasataya.

Bonghanoy said as a lawyer, she has been handling ejectment cases, and this can help her in her new job as BHA head.

She assured the City Council members she can handle her schedules for BHA and her private law practice. She said her previous work as city legal officer was even bigger in scope than the BHA.

Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. asked her to refer the matter first to Puentevella as a matter of courtesy.

Councilor Alex Paglomutan said that he does not wish to block the City Council’s concurrence of Bonghanoy’s appointment.

“But the apprehension is that she is applying for a career post which is a sensitive position and handling housing matter is a herculean task. This might cause demoralization among rank and file as others might be next in line or have the ambition to be the next BHA after Josephine Segundino retired. I will not object [to] her concurrence. [But] whatever problems [she] may encounter, that may become a problem by the city officials, too,” he said. (CNC)
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