Lobregat is allowed to sit in Board of Regents—Robredo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 April 2011 14:59

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reiterated its stand that the designation of an elective official, such as Mayor Celso Lobregat as member of the Board of Regents of a state university such as WMSU is not prohibited under the law.

DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was in Zamboanga City yesterday said the department on March 14, 2011, has already come out with an opinion concerning the issue per request of Mayor Lobregat, whose appointment as representative of Hon. Juan Edgardo Angara in the Board of Regents of the Western Mindanao State University is questioned by Regent Mahmor Edding.

The opinion states that  Lobregat’s representation “does not violate section 7, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution and Article 94 of RA 7160” and that “the prohibition set forth under Section 7, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and Article 94 of the LGC do not apply in your (Lobregat’s) case”.

Nevertheless, Sec. Robredo in a press conference in a hotel in Pasonanca noontime yesterday assured of a very fair response or action to the complaint of Mr. Edding once it reaches his table.

Robredo even shared his own experience when he was asked by then Senator Mar Roxas to act as the former’s representative in the Board of Regents in a university in Naga when he was serving his term as Mayor of Naga City.

He said the reason why mayors or other elective officials are asked to sit in the board of regents of a university is because they are familiar and can be helpful in pushing for projects or programs for the development of the said university.

When asked if he received honoraria when he was then Sen. Roxas’ representative in the Board of Regents, the Secretary said he could not recall but admitted that the legality or illegality of accepting the honoraria was never asked.

Edding in his complaint submitted to Malacanang and subsequently referred to the DILG claimed that the mayor abused his authority due to his acceptance of the honoraria in at least 3 board meetings in 2009.

Lobregat has countered by saying that the DILG opinion prohibiting the acceptance of honoraria was issued March 2011 and that Edding cited honoraria received when the opinion was not yet issued which were in 2009 when he was then representing Cong. Cynthia Villar to help resolve the impasse in the issue of the WMSU presidency. — Rey Carbonel