SP majority to seeks clarifications from DILG
LEGAL OPINIONS FOR WRONG CLAIMS?
THE majority in the Dagupan Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) is not willing to accept the legal opinion issued by the regional office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in response to the issues raised by the minority without further clarification.
Councilor Alfie Fernandez, chairman of the SP committee on laws, rules and ordinances, initially posed a parliamentary inquiry: Why was the DILG regional office made to issue the legal opinions, and not the legal department of the DILG central office?
Councilor Alfie asked Vice Mayor and SP presiding officer Bryan Kua to furnish the majority a copy of his February 21, 2023 letter to the DILG so he can point out the erroneous legal opinions to misguided, self-serving questions.
Reacting to the DILG opinion that that the non-adjournment of the session on February 7 by Vice Mayor Kua was in order, Councilor Alfie maintained that when all the members of the majority left the session hall after a motion to adjourn was moved and seconded, all the business matters that were later taken up were illegal as there was already no quorum.
He said the presiding officer upon seeing that the seven majority councilors were not already in the session hall should have directed the city secretary to make another roll call, which he did not do.
On the DILG opinion issued that “the minutes of the sanggunian’s regular session cannot be deleted from the sanggunian’s records by a motion of its members as it undermines the requirements of the LGC,” Councilor Alfie said they will submit new minutes.
At the same time, Alfie said the DILG opinions contravenes the universally accepted principle in parliamentary procedures that the majority rules.
Councilor Alfie’s cousin, Councilor and Minority Floor Leader Michael Fernandez rebutted the former’s manifestations.
- The queries were submitted to the DILG regional office because the DILG central office cannot accept legal queries that did not pass its regional offices. Besides, the DILG central office already issued legal opinions that apply to the questions raised by VM Kua and the minority councilors.
- Attached to the minority’s February 21 letter as requested by the majority were the full video footages of the February 7 and 14 regular sessions of the SP, a copy of the Internal Rules and Procedures to negate the majority councilors claim that they did not walk out during the February 7 session.
- On the DILG opinion that the Presiding Officer did the right thing when he did not adjourn the session despite the motion to adjourn called by the majority, emphasizing that “no motion to adjourn can be made if someone has the floor.” Councilor Michael said Mayor Belen Fernandez was still at the podium when the majority councilors walked out.
- On the suggestion of Councilor Alfie that he will submit the February 7 minutes, Councilor Michael said it is the SP that prepares the minutes of the session, not the majority.
- On DILG’s opinion that the majority contradicts the universally accepted parliamentary rules that the majority rules in any deliberative bodies, Michael said the word “majority rules” is not absolute citing the situation that the majority cannot replace the vice mayor as presiding officer with majority floor leader Reyna-Macalanda just because of their numerical superiority. (Leonardo Micua)
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