BINMALEY—Eight councilors here and the vice mayor, who chairs the Sangguniang Bayan (SB), have taken their battle before the provincial board.
Administrative charges have been filed by the two parties against each other before the provincial board’s Committee on Good Governance for grave misconduct in office over the contentious council session involving a P55-million bank loan being sought by the municipal government.
Councilors Jose Carrera, Ellen Alipio, Urbano de los Angeles, Jocelyn Bautista, Franco Francisco, Vismark Valerio and Jesus Aquino filed an administrative complaint on September 13 against Vice Mayor Pedro Merrera III for allegedly “willfully and intentionally disregarded, and thus, violated, the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure and the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Sangguniang Bayan of Binmaley, Pangasinan by deliberating and arguing with the councilors all throughout the session” during their special session on August 18 at 6:00 p.m.
Then on September 19, Merrera also filed an administrative complaint against the seven and Councilor Harmielyn Cerezo for “usurpation of power/authority” alleging that the special session on Aug. 18 at 6:00 p.m. was properly adjourned at 8:30 p.m. as evidenced by a Journal of Proceedings of the Special Session.
The purpose of the special session was to deliberate on resolution certifying the submission of the requirements of Ordinance 3 No. 2, series of 2012, section 2 sponsored by Carrera.
Merrera pointed out in his complaint that the proponent of the resolution failed to comply with all the requirements necessary for its approval, thus he, as the presiding officer of the council, adjourned the special session after it was moved and seconded by Councilors Jovito Castro and Edgar Mamenta, respectively.
The resolution grants certification to a P55-million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines initiated by Mayor Lorenzo Cerezo.
The councilors, on the other hand, alleged that instead of accommodating motions and hearing deliberations then subjecting the issue to a vote, Merrera deliberately defied and thus disregarded well-established rules of procedure.
After the adjournment, the session was immediately resumed by the councilors, an act that Merrera asserts was illegal.
The councilors went on to approve the resolution during the resumption of the session
Merrera said in his complaint that for failure of the approval of the resolution by reason of non-compliance with all the necessary requirements for purposes of deliberation of its subsequent approval, Alipio, not being a presiding officer, proceeded to preside after.
Merrera added the resumed session “is a de facto session with the said respondents acting as de facto officers in violation of law aside from the fact that there can be no two sessions in a day”.—Eva Visperas