Red and Yellow teams fight for city council supremacy PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 August 2016 12:08

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

At the Zamboanga City Council, latest internal developments from all indications point to a positioning for supremacy. One need not go deeper into the intricacies of developing events but understand the moves of both competing co-equals, but are divided into a political bond of so-called Red and Yellow teams. Since majority rules in our legislative system, therefore, the team who commands a plurality in number is supreme. This is actually the main reason as to the intense and hotly contested council committee chairmanship and the legal fight to remove or suspend some members of both Red and Yellow teams to acquire voting supremacy. One or two City Councilors are powerless but the most powerful body in a local government unit is the local legislative body when sitting en-banc. Authority and powers of the City Council sitting en -banc may bring the city into prosperity or leave the city’s development stagnant. Voting number or strength in a legislative body is an unwritten policy that all leaders agree and accept since the creation of parliamentary rules. And many times it is strengthened by a “House Rule” that is violated many times by legislators, if it does not suit the interest of the supreme group of legislators.

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In Zamboanga City, cases were filed against a city official who becomes a legislator and joins a certain group in the process. But once already sitting as a member of City Council, those legally filed cases are dug up. It is unfortunate for the concerned city council member because he becomes an unwilling target of a City Council competition for a voting strength. Or a power play of voting numbers. And it is more unfortunate for the concerned City Council member, if the case filed against him is decided and enforceable because the next move is have him arrested or suspended at the city council.  A  thankless job indeed with no permanent friends but only permanent interest.

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This is one incident that the people who voted for him will be “short changed” because the concerned City Councilor will be busy depending himself with those cases and probably will consumed his three-year term instead of concentrating his term for legislation.

In the very first day of city council for 2016, One Councilor from the Yellow Team brought to the attention of the presiding officer that one Red Team City Councilor is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude and invoke the council “House Rules” to suspend the attendance of the accused Red Team City Councilor. But, nothing happened until today so the voting number of the Red Team is intact.

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Last Friday afternoon, a Warrant of Arrest was served against a Yellow Team Councilor, who has a pending case filed against him when he was still a Barangay Chairman. Fortunately he was not around so no arrest was made. And momentarily the Yellow Team voting number at the City Council lay intact. But the danger that the Yellow Team will still lose a member because the warrant for his arrest stays.  The heat of the Red and Yellow teams at the City Council is seemingly going out of hand and “vindictiveness” is appearing. There is only one remedy to stop the City Council from being useless in City Legislation, the leaders, Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco, team leader of Yellow Team and District 1 Congressman Celso L. Lobregat to sit down and thresh this problem out,  so the division at the City Council will stop into becoming a deep controversy. The wedge is becoming deeper everyday and something has to be done for the sake of the city. Only a suggestion not interference.

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Scoop: Is it notthat serving of Warrants of Arrest should only be done on weekdays? And no arrest on holidays? This is done because it gives those arrested the chance to “post bail” with the court that is open only on weekdays and closed on holidays. PNP warrant section please get an advice from the Prosecutor’s Office.  “Criminals are still innocent until proven otherwise beyond reasonable doubt” and part of Due Process of the Law is the right to bail for temporary freedom until conviction. You may agree or disagree.