Committee chairmanship issue in Council heats up PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:14

Newly-elected and re-elected minority councilors continue to maintain hope that Mayor-elect Ma Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar, will demonstrate in action the true essence of unity among elected government officials in Zamboanga City starting from her fresh three-year term that begins on noon of June 30, this year.This is through granting them committee chairmanship after an expected re-organization at the city council.

Last Tuesday, re-elected Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde made a pronouncement that granting of committees to minority councilors faces uncertainty especially in the midst of political reality that only majority councilors are entitled to committee chairmanship.

Saying they respect the vice mayor’s opinion, known opposition councilors said that they look up to Climaco-Salazar, to predictably change such traditional style of politics given that all newly-elected and re-elected minority councilors are not her enemies.

“Chairing a committee does not mean that a minority councilor like me waives his right to fiscalize the administration, because the act of fiscalizing is not only that of opposition or minority councilors but by every council member,” said 2nd district re-elected Councilor Rommel Agan.

Agan is reacting to Iturralde’s earlier expressed view that “theoretically, minority councilors have a mandate to fulfill, and that is to fiscalize the administration”.

Iturralde believes that “if these minority councilors be given committees to chair they will be inutile in doing what is supposed to be expected of them, which is to fiscalize”.

Asked what committees he deems appropriate for council minority members, Agan said, “there are few committees that are least important that appear to be excess baggage for some administration councilors,” said Agan, without specifying what are those committees.

For his part, topnotch 1st district re-elected Councilor Melchor Ray Sadain said that with or without committee chairmanship, he can make do as an effective city councilor.

“After all, I have been used to having no committee chairmanship and still the people in my district made me number 1 in the recent elections,” Sadain reasoned out.

Meanwhile, Councilor Cesar “Jawo” Jimenez Jr., predicts that all elected and re-elected administration councilors, would soon leave their old political parties and formally join Climaco-Salazar’s Liberal Party.

“That explains that prior to the expected mass party transfer there is no such thing as majority in the new set of city council, because these administration councilors belong to  Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and Adelante Zamboanga Party (AZAP), respectively, and only returning Councilor Roel “Elong” Natividad is a bonafide LP member,” Jimenez explained.

Jimenez was one of the opposition councilors who ran independently during the last elections, yet, supported Climaco-Salazar’s mayoralty bid.

Apart from Agan, Sadain, and Jimenez, re-elected Councilor Rodolfo Bayot, and newly-elected Councilors Juan Climaco Elago and Josephine Pareja, will likewise compose the minority group at the local legislature. — Philip Abuy