Random Thoughts

Dagupan SP sked on floating basis

By Leonardo Micua

PROVINCIAL Local Government Operations Officer Agnes de Leon’s warning to legislators  that they risk administrative charges if they fail to perform their mandate to hold sessions, applies to all, including members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dagupan City.

We were informed that the Dagupan SP, which has the penchant of holding sessions on a floating basis in violation of its house rules, has not been convened for the past two weeks for failure to muster a quorum.

Dagupan SP’s house rules set Tuesday afternoon as its regular session day. But this is breached often as the ‘honorables’ hold their sessions either on Monday morning or afternoon and sometimes Wednesday mornings or afternoon, depending on the convenience of the members, particularly its presiding officer.

If I recall right, it was Councilor Chito Samson, who moved that the council holds session every Tuesday afternoon, a motion adopted by the body, amending house rules that set weekly session every Monday morning. But again this was not religiously followed, which prompted I and Ahikam Pasion of Aksyon Radyo to suspect that sessions are being held based on the availability in the city of its members.

For instance, when Vice Mayor Brian Lim was still world president of the Junior Chamber International, he had to miss many sessions and his limited availability dictated the schedule of sessions in violation of the house rules, denying Dagupeños the service that they deserve from him.                     

And when the SP declared a state of calamity owing to the flood, he was again nowhere in the city when the councilors held their special session at the city museum. Yes, when many parts of the city were already underwater, the vice mayor was comfortably performing his tasks for the JCI organization, a work that had no relevance and importance to his position as public servant of his city.

So unwittingly for VM Lim’s allies who make the flooding an election issue and blame Mayor Belen Fernandez for it, they are reminding  Dagupeños that their vice mayor was never around in their times of need.

Back to our main topic (sessions), the Dagupan SP has been holding its sessions at the Event Center of Metro Plaza owned by the Lim family.  When Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo was asked during a radio program at Aksyon Radyo, he admitted it was the vice mayor who insisted on holding sessions at Metro Plaza instead of the SP hall.

 Since when did it become the sole prerogative of the presiding officer to decide where to hold the sessions? Is the SP his private organization? It appears the only time the councilors hold their sessions at the SP building at city hall is when VM Lim is absent.

So today, the SP could not muster a quorum for the past two weeks. They councilors conveniently listed themselves as being on “official business”. (Translation: No time for session). We even doubt if the councilors and the vice mayor render reports on their official business supposed to be related to their work as legislators.

This week, the councilors can already be charged for failing to hold sessions or being absent for three straight sessions if they still fail to show up. The DILG ought to look into these flagrant violations by the councilors of their rules, and charge them accordingly.

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The allies  of Vice Mayor Lim exceeded their sense of delicadeza by suggesting on radio, the erection of a monument to allegedly immortalize the ‘legacy’ of his father, the late Mayor Benjamin Lim. They have forgotten that it is history that judges the character and greatness of a man if he is entitled to be elevated to a lofty pedestal, not by his own family or best friends.

They seem to forget the many issues raised against the man during his reign, including his suspected role in the infamous Awai land deal that defrauded the city of P16-M!

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