“TRANSPARENCY and good faith will be observed in the pursuit of any subsequent undertaking to carry out the will of the SP.”
This was the assurance given by Mayor Benjamin Lim in a press release after he was given blanket authority by the Sangguniang Panlungsod to transact the sale of the MC Adore property in a special session that the mayor himself called.
Lim said he will form a “committee of disposal” to do the necessary assessment on the MC Adore property and the piece of land bought by the city government in Barangay Talibaew, Calasiao.
“This ad hoc committee will eventually determine the fair market value of each property,” a statement from city hall said.
“Everything will be convincingly transparent. We will make a public announcement after the committee, which will be composed probably of the city engineer, the city assessor, a representative of the Commission on Audit (COA), and a representative of an accredited NGO, shall have determined the fair market value,” said Lim.
A bidding will then be undertaken and the city will make an offer to the winning bidder.
The mayor said his request for a special session was consistent with his adopted slogan, “Our City, Our Shared Responsibility,” despite Circular No. 89-296 issued on January 27, 1989 by the Commission on Audit, particularly Section IV, which states among others that the disposal of property and other assets owned by local government units “shall be lodged in the heads of the LGUs.”
The city hall press release, however, was silent on the mandate of the local government code that a majority vote of the sanggunian is required before authority to the mayor to sell any government property can be granted.
In response to the motive ascribed to the special session that he called while the vice mayor, as presiding officer was out of town, Lim’s reaction was: “Nang nagkaroon ng special session, nagkataong wala siya, then hindi na natin problema yun. Alangan naman na kung wala ang vice-mayor ay hindi na gagalaw ang siyudad. Nasa batas na kung wala ang vice-mayor, puwedeng mag-preside ang mga ibang opisyal tulad ng pro tempore o majority floor leader,” Lim was quoted in the statement.
The special session was presided by Councilor Jesus Canto, who was neither the pro tempore or majority floor leader.
The councilors who voted unanimously to grant Mayor Lim the authority to negotiate without terms of conditions were Alvin Coquia, Karlos Reyna, Librada Reyna, Luis Samson Jr, Brian Lim, Redford Erfe Mejia, Gulllermo Vallejos and Chester Gonzales.