MAYOR’S SON INCENSED
A RESOLUTION introduced by the new majority in the Sangguniang Panlungsod seeking to affirm and confirm their earlier controversial resolution approved in a special session on April 20, 2012 and to ratify all legal procedures pursuant to the sale of the MC Adore property was foiled by the members of the minority in the council.
At the council session last September 24, a heated debate ensued between Councilors Maybelyn Fernandez and Brian Lim, primary author of the resolution, after Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez referred the draft to the “appropriate committees”.
Councilor Fernandez, in addition, asked that the committees hold public hearings on Lim’s proposed Draft Resolution 4981 and to subsequently prepare a committee report for the body’s deliberation.
The resolution, which was not listed in the calendar for business, was introduced by the new majority under “other matters” at the start of the session, surprised the minority.
Pointing out that there was no public hearing nor even a committee hearing when the first resolution was passed, a fact acknowledged by Lim, Councilor Fernandez stressed the need for a public consultation as the two properties are owned by the people of Dagupan City.
“Ang taong bayan ang may-ari nito, hindi lang yong siyudad natin. So it is only but proper that we hear their side through a committee hearing or better yet, a public hearing,” Councilor Fernandez said.
“The first resolution was approved in April and from April to date, no committee or public hearing was ever held. So, why pass another resolution affirming the first resolution kung hindi pa naririnig ang boses ng mga tao,” she added.
Lim was the only one who stood and pushed for the immediate passage of his proposed resolution although Councilors Jesus Canto, Karlos Liberato Reyna, Librada Manaois- Reyna, Luis Samson Jr., Redford Mejia, Guillermo Vallejos, Alvin Coquia and Chester Gonzales signed as co-authors. . They were the same councilors who signed the previous resolution.
Lim’s proposal intends to affirm Resolution No.6138 which gave authority to the mayor, his father, to initiate the sale of the Dagupan City-government-owned MC Adore International Palace and a piece of land in Barangay Talibaew, Calasiao.
It was approved during a controversial special session in the afternoon of April 20, 2012 when Vice Mayor Fernandez was in the United States while Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez was not duly notified.
Lim also bewailed the statement of Fernandez that the SP has no power to declare the resolution illegal as there is no final decision yet by the court on the issue, unwittingly acknowledging the pendency of the case filed by SP Secretary Ryan Ravanzo.
The respondents in that case are Mayor Lim. Councilors Jesus Canto, Karlos Reyna, Librada Reyna, Redforld Mejia, Luis Samson Jr., Alvin Coquia, Guillermo Vallejos, John Chster Gonzales and Lim, all signatories to the original resolution.
It is currently lodged as a special civil before the sala of Regional Trial Court Judge Emma Torio who eventually set for hearing on the petition for a temporary restraining order on October 5.
Lim moved for the division of the house after heated exchanges with Fernandez, but the vice mayor said the referral of the resolution was already decided and the motion to divide the house could no longer be entertained.
Vice Mayor Fernandez, the council’s chair, reiterated Councilor Fernandez’s request that the committee should render a report.
“For the sake of transparency and good governance, the chair directed that the committee conduct a public hearing,” the vice mayor said.
Further arguments ensued but Vice Mayor Fernandez later asserted: “The chair has already decided. This will be referred to the committees to conduct public hearings. Hindi po pera ng Sanggunian o kaya pera ng mayor ang involved. Pera po ito ng bayan na hindi natin dapat i-apura.”
When the opinion of Councilor Alfie Fernandez, chair of the committee on laws and ordinance, was sought, he opined, “The presiding officer has already made a ruling and wala naman pong mawawala sa atin if we have this referred to the respective committees and conduct public hearings. Tulad ng sinabi natin, this involves millions of pesos. Malaking amount ang involved dito, pera ito ng taong bayan at nararapat po lang na maging parte sila ng discussion if ever the sale will push through.”
Councilor Jeslito Seen later on raised his hand and moved for adjournment, after which Vice Mayor Fernandez responded accordingly.
In a press statement issued by the City Hall, Councilor Lim was quoted as labeling the decision of the vice mayor as “dictatorial”.
In a radio interview last Wednesday, Lim said that as the SP’s presiding officer, “the vice mayor acted in bad faith when she arrogated unto herself the right to take part in the debate, an act which was in clear violations of the SP Internal Rules of Procedures, popularly known as house rules.” (with report from CIO)