MCWD board declares 2 seats vacant amid dispute

MCWD board declares 2 seats vacant amid dispute
File photo

THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Board of Directors led by its chairman Jose Daluz III has pronounced two board seats vacant, following the alleged declaration of lawyers Earl Bonachita and Danilo Ortiz to no longer attend future meetings with the Daluz-led board.

The decision was made during the board meeting on Thursday, December 21, 2023, which was presided over by the board's vice chair Miguelito Pato.

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu on Thursday, Daluz was the one who moved to declare the two seats vacant.

“The civic and education sectors are disenfranchised and essentially deprived of representation in the MCWD Board,” Daluz said during the discussion.

Ortiz was representing the civic sector, while Bonachita was representing the education sector.

Board secretary Jodelyn May Seno was also instructed to begin soliciting at least 10 nominees from their respective sectors within MCWD's service area.

The secretary is expected to present the list of nominees to the board on January 8, 2024. The list will then be submitted to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for the appointment of new members to replace Ortiz and Bonachita.

Ortiz and Bonachita assumed office in January of this year, succeeding lawyers Manolette Dinsay and Frank Malilong Jr., whose terms ended in December 2022.

Both Ortiz and Bonachita's terms are supposed to end in December 2028.

On November 20, the board sent a show cause order to Ortiz and Bonachita, questioning why no disciplinary action should be taken against them for failing to attend meetings and for attending and conducting "unauthorized" meetings on November 7 and 17 "with other individuals."

In a joint statement dated December 4 obtained by SunStar Cebu, Bonachita and Ortiz clarified that they no longer recognize Daluz’s board as the legitimate MCWD board. This, they explained, is the primary reason for their absence from the board meetings presided over by Daluz.

“After the issuance of Mayor Rama’s order on October 31, 2023, we recused ourselves from your Board and attended the meetings of what we believe to be the new and legitimate Board chaired by General Melquiades Feliciano,” they said in their reply addressed to Daluz.

Rama has appointed Feliciano, lawyer Aristotle Batuhan, and Nelson Yuvallos as the new members of the MCWD board, replacing Daluz, Pato, and Seno. (JJL)

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