Majority dad on E-media coverage: “Pull the plug” Print
Thursday, 09 November 2017 17:00

By Liza Jocson

Liberal party councilors tried to oust the crew of a media network from covering the session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod during its regular session last Tuesday.

The incident, which happened during a recess, resulted to a walkout by Majority Floorleader Cesar “Sang” Jimenez.

The attempt came during a dialogue called to discuss the alleged irregular encashment of sponsorship cheques for the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival by City Mayor Executive Assistant and Events Head Christian Olasiman.

A few minutes after the dialogue started, Majority Floorleader Cesar “Sang” Jimenez entered the session hall and called for a recess.

Councilor Miguel Alavar, a party to the discussion, recounted what transpired during the recess in a radio interview.

Alavar said that the group of Liberal party councilors, huddled on one side with some minority members, presented the idea “para manda sale from the session hall conel E-media.”

The councilors composing the Liberal group are Cesar “Sang” Jimenez, Kim Elago, Rommel Agan, Bong Atilano, JIhan Edding, Teodyver Arquiza, Tungkuh Hanapi, Josephine Pareja, Rudy Bayot and Jimmy Villaflores.  Charlie Mariano joined the group.

The majority councilors based their decision on a previous resolution which they passed supporting a decision of City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar to close down the network for allegedy operating with incomplete documents.

Alavar described the discussion as tense.

“Alto el emocion, talla el quiere quita el saksakan (remove the plug.)” Alavar said.

Councilors belonging to the minority group tried to diffuse the tense situation and talk the majority out of their plan.

Minority Councilors are Alavar, Rudy Lim, Lilibeth Nuño, BG Guingona and Myra Paz Abubakar.  Gerry Perez soon joined the group.

“Habla kame directa, if you will do this, sale kame.  We will not participate,”  Alavar said during the height of tensions in the discussion.

“We really felt hende ya dapat. Inappropriate hace grande el issue.  Down ya, pacha pa kita,”  Alavar said.

Alavar said that a change in the direction of the discussion occurred when he reminded them that he heard the Vice Mayor himself invite E-media to cover the council session during an interview with the network during its morning program, Combersa.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde himself confirmed that he earlier invited E-media to the council session.

Councilor Cesar Sang Jimenez walked out of the session hall which Alavar said was “in protest” to the decision arrived at by the group to let E-media remain inside the session hall.

In an interview, Councilor Jimmy Villaflores, a majority councilor, said that he disagreed to the call not to allow E-media to cover the proceedings.

Villaflores, a former mediaman, said that although he supported the passage of the resolution to support the Mayor in her move to close down the network,  it should not reach a point where the media network will not be allowed to cover the council.

He said that he has no rancor towards E-media personalities even if they criticize the majority’s decision to support the move of City Hall.

Recall that two weeks earlier, the same majority councilors voted to support a move by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar to close down the network for reported incomplete documents for operating.

Meanwhile, the dialogue on the alleged irregularity involving the encashment of cheques proceeded.  (Liza Jocson)