LINGAYEN–Sixth district Board Member Ranjit Shahani could be facing disciplinary action from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) for alleged irresponsible acts and issuing public statements that tend to malign the integrity of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and the members of the provincial board.
The SP, headed by Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., announced in a press conference last July 18 that majority of the members of the body are dismayed over Shahani’s “dishonorable conduct.”
According to Calimlim, Shahani earned the ire of the provincial officials after he hurled “careless and immature statements” accusing Espino as a “corrupt governor.”
Shahani’s broadsides against the governor were aired on a local TV network which ran a crawler quoting the board member describing the provincial chief executive as “corrupt.”
“I condemn in the strongest term such irresponsible acts and statements which have impugned the integrity of the governor and the SP as a whole,” BM Von Mark Mendoza, a former protégé of Shahani, said during the presscon.
“The irresponsible statement came at a time when the province had been reaping awards and commendations, especially the feats gained during the staging of the Palarong Pambansa,” Mendoza pointed out.
Mendoza’s sentiment was echoed by Calimlim and Board Member Alfonso Bince, saying Shahani has “gone beyond the norms of conduct of the honorable body.”
“This is too much to hear from one of us in the provincial board that the governor is the most corrupt,” Bince said, adding that such statement could be subject for slander.
In his broadcast diatribe, Shahani also took umbrage against his colleagues in the SP, calling them “lapdogs of the governor.”
Calimlim asked the SP’s ethics committee chaired by Bince to study how the proposed disciplinary action will be slapped on Shahani.
“This is the second time that he committed the same offense,” the vice governor said.
Calimlim also asked SP’s committee on rules chaired by Board Member Angel Baniqued to look into the possibility of amending some provisions of the House Rules, especially those imposing sanctions on repeated absences of SP members.
Based on the SP records of attendance, Shahani is one among three other SP members who had frequently skipped regular sessions of the legislative body.
Under the SP House Rules, a member can be penalized for incurring at least four consecutive absences.
Calimlim said “this terrible act has hurt the provincial officials, as he stressed that the “patience of the board members and Gov. Espino has reached its peak.”
The vice governor noted that “every time he (Shahani) commits a blunder, he is quick to say, ‘I’m sorry’.”
“This is ridiculous for a man of his stature,” Calimlim said.
Board Member Amadeo Espino, a younger brother of the governor who represents the Liga ng mgaBarangay in the SP, called on the people and the media to “treat the situation with substance and fair judgment and look at the credibility of Shahani who has been playing dirty politics because he was not able to achieve his political interests.”
“Magtulungan tayo na maiangat natin ang pulitika ditto sa Pangasinan,” he said. (PIO)