ERFE-MEJIA’S CONFUSED VOTE– Many are wondering if the vote of the lone wolf in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia, as “partial objection” to a measure put under consideration is a “yes” or “no” and whether such a vote is acceptable in parliamentary practice.
I say “lone wolf” because it appears the good councilor from Tapuac. the minority floor leader, is by his lonesome carrying the torch of the opposition in that chamber. He had three other members originally but the three have distanced themselves from Erfe-Mejia for reasons only known to them.
During the special session of the SP on May 23, Erfe-Mejia’s was to submit a “partial written objection” to the Supplemental Annual Investment Plan No. 1 A and its corresponding Supplemental Budget, despite his intense questioning of members of the finance committee who were called to the session hall.
When he said “partial objection”, did he mean to say that he does not agree to half of the items in the proposed ordinance but nevertheless agrees with the other half of the items?
His colleagues in the chamber were in quandary about his vote. Even more confused were the people in the gallery, including myself, watching the proceedings.
I have been covering many legislative sessions across the years, I must confess that this was my first time to hear a vote of “partial written objection”. It is unheard of under established parliamentary voting procedures. One can explain his vote as yes or no or abstain with an explanation but cannot simply give an explanation for his partial objection without a vote.
Was this his way of saying “I abstain” not wanting to vote either “yes“ or “no”? Or was it a tact that he thinks can keep the ordinance suspended until he submits his “written” partial objection?
Perhaps he believes he is smarter than most of his colleagues in the SP thinking he can delay the implementation of the ordinance with his unprecedented written partial objection. Does he actually think he can delay the implementation of multi-million peso programs and projects of Mayor Belen Fernandez with his no-bearing vote and response?
Perhaps the councilor may insist on the inclusion of his “partial written objection” in the minutes before the ordinance can be signed by the author, presiding officer and City Secretary Ryan Ravanzo and forwarded to Mayor Belen for approval, but he should know that by insisting on his irrelevant unusual vote to be recorded, he will be long remembered as the confused councilor who couldn’t make up his mind and didn’t have the courage to make a stand on an issue.
Our suggestion to him: Vote Yes or No and explain your vote. Or simply abstain. That’s how it works in parliamentary proceedings. – Leonardo Micua
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