6 councilors nix Celso’s appearance in Council PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:42

To brief on Bangsamoro issue


District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat is set to brief anew the City Council in its regular session next week, on new developments about the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement (BFA).

This developed as city councilors hotly debated yesterday on whether or not to allow the 1st district solon’s presence in their regular session next Tuesday.

Those who considered “useless and unnecessary” Lobregat’s attendance in said session are notably his political nemesis from way back.

The debate was sparked by District 1 Councilor Charlie Mariano’s resolution, “Respectfully inviting the Honorable District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat, to address and enlighten this august body (the city council), relative to the Bangsamoro issue”.

Mariano was cautioned by Councilor Cesar Jimenez Jr, that the 1st district solon might inevitably,be embarrassed if some of them would happen to debate with him on things that he would have to say during the session.

Councilor Juan Climaco Elago, another Lobregat’s foe, said that “there’s no need for him (Lobregat), to brief us on Bangsamoro issue here, better do it in Congress, which is the right venue for such discussion”.

Councilor Melchor Ray Sadain also saw no need for Lobregat to speak at the City Council session, saying that “what he will deliver here is already in his letter”, earlier addressed to the Council.

For his part, Councilor Rommel Agan has appealed to Mariano to withdraw said resolution, saying that “it will just be a useless time, because we already heard him (Lobregat) talking about the Bangsamoro issue in last Sunday’s annual general membership assembly of Zamcelco, although it was quite out of topic for such an occasion”.

“It is too much for a person of his stature, a congressman, to come and talk here”, said Councilor Roel Natividad, who likewise, did not favor the idea of inviting the district 1 solon to attend next week’s regular session.

In the end, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, the council’s presiding officer, confidently sounded the gavel, after eight of the 14 councilors present, voted in favor of Mariano’s motion.

Iturralde’s decision however, was briefly contested by Councilors Kim Elago and Sadain, citing incorrect notion by the presiding officer, of what majority is, whether the total number of councilors present during the roll call, or the actual number during the voting, considering that Councilors Eduardo Saavedra and Jerry Perez were out of the session hall at the time of the voting.

The vice mayor has stood firm to decide in favor of Mariano’s resolution, advising those opposed to his ruling to bring the matter to the DILG.

Those who voted in favor of inviting Lobregat to speak at the City Council in next Tuesday’s session were Councilors Myra Abubakar, Rodolfo Bayot, Luis Biel III, Vincent Paul Elago, Benjamin Guingona IV, Percival Ramos, Rogelio Valesco Jr., and Charlie Mariano.

On the other hand, those who objected to such motion were Councilors Rommel Agan, Kim Elago, Cesar Jimenez  Jr., Roel Natividad, Josephine Pareja, and Melchor Ray Sadain. — Philip Abuy