FOR skipping last Monday’s Provincial Board (PB) session to campaign in the towns, vice gubernatorial candidate Dr. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz called Vice. Gov. Agnes Magpale “irresponsible and distasteful.”
Soon-Ruiz said Magpale’s absence resulted in a lack of quorum, and the session last Monday had to be called off.
Soon-Ruiz, One Cebu Party’s candidate for vice governor, is challenging Liberal Party (LP) member Magpale in next month’s election.
Sought for comment during the 16th Cebu Women’s Congress yesterday, Magpale said she had filed a leave of absence to be able to join the province-wide campaign caravan of the local LP candidates.
She said she had no control over the legislators if they decided to be absent that day.
Only PB Members Peter Calderon and Christopher Baricuatro joined the LP caravan, along with Rep. Willy Caminero (Cebu, 2nd) and some mayors.
Present last Monday were only PB presiding officer Miguel Magpale, PB Members Celestino Martinez III, Jude Sybico, Carmen Durano-Meca and Raul Alcoseba.
But Ruiz insisted that the lack of quorum has something to do with Magpale’s absence.
“The session only lasts an hour or two, unya dili pa gyud buhaton tungod kay nangampanya (yet she would not attend the session just so she can campaign),” Soon-Ruiz said.
She said that If Magpale was mindful of her legislative duties, she could have pushed to have the caravan on another day, or just join the three-day caravan after attending the session.
“That really leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It is not only distasteful, it is irresponsible,” Soon-Ruiz said.
She said some of the PB members did not show up last Monday, perhaps because the members knew of and were following the “careless attitude of their leader.”
“But even before, I already asked for permission to be on leave, I am entitled to have a leave,” Magpale said.
She said she already planned her schedule before the caravan, thinking the session would go on without her.
The vice governor said there had been instances when she was on leave or on official business and designated a presiding officer. She said she always made sure that there will be a quorum whenever she leaves.
That Monday, the circumstances were beyond her control.
“It was my decision and you know how I work, pero maayo na ‘tong pagka han-ay no, wa ko magdahom nga way quorum kay kami ra man tulo, si Peter, ako ug si Dong ang involved (things were arranged before I left, I didn’t think there would be no quorum since only three of us were involved),” said Magpale.
Magpale said she is sorry if that’s what Soon-Ruiz believed, but said that she is entitled to her own opinion.
She requested her opponent: “Please don’t use me para ma-ilado ka (so you will be popular).”