Distrito, Ramos, Ang, Rojas Respond to Gamboa’s Media Interview
Bacolod City Councilor Caesar Distrito and three other Sanggunian members yesterday afternoon sent to media outlets a statement in response to Councilor Jun Gamboa’s statement in media interviews.
NDB is quoting the four councilors’ statement:
Nobody will question your sacred duty if it is within the provisions of the law and the internal rules of the Sanggunian.
To quote Section 1 of Rule VI of the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Sanggunian provides that, “a committee may consider, investigate and take action on matters that are ASSIGNED by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.” What he did was a blatant display of disrespect to the policy-making body in which he is a part of given that the subject matter of his public hearing was never referred to his committee. Councilor Gamboa failed to ask for an authority from the Sanggunian to conduct such hearing in aid of legislation, in effect, he disregarded the authority of the august body. We perform our duty under the principle that the Sangguniang Panlungsod is a collegial body.
We wish to remind Councilor Gamboa that there is no confusion as to the application of the internal rules, as he claimed in his interviews. In fact we even cited the rules to remind him that the matter should be appropriately assigned or referred first to the committee before he can take action on it and not the other way around. Let us also ask him if there were times that he conducted a committee hearing with subject matters that were not included in the agenda of the Sanggunian? Because as far as we can remember, he was among those who questioned former Councilor Lopez on why he conducted consultative meetings with the market vendors without the authority from the Sanggunian.
However, the issue is not about the resolution we authored supporting the said housebill, but rather about the manner of conducting a committee hearing because any member of the council can conduct a hearing, as long as it is conducted within the provisions of the internal rules. Moreover, the Sanggunian has already expressed support to the housebill which is a valid action made by the collegial body expressing the clear sentiment that we are in favor of the said proposal. Granting for the sake of argument that, during the course of the hearing he was not favorable of the said proposal, will he propose another resolution opposing the housebill of Congressman Greg Gasataya of declaring June 18 as a special non-working holiday in the City which the Sanggunian had already supported? If he conducted the hearing just to solicit opinions that are either to support or oppose the housebill, then he should have raised it during the deliberations and suggested to the body to conduct first a hearing before passing the resolution of support, yet, he failed to take any action and instead went outside of the session hall.
Also, Councilor Distrito did not conduct the hearing on the SpeechLab, the matter was initiated by Councilor Novero, who, prior to conducting such hearing, asked for an authority from the Sanggunian through a resolution that he will do the same in aid of legislation, which is the best and ideal way of taking action on matters that is supposed to be scrutinized or investigated by a legislator. Did Councilor Gamboa ask for the same authority? I believe there was none, because if there was, then we could have discussed it.
As to the other insinuations he made, those matters have already been resolved by the Sanggunian during the previous sessions, if he was not satisfied with the discussions, he can politely ask the SP for clarifications if he did not understand how it was settled during that time or because he left the session early.
We suggest that Councilor Gamboa should better read again City Ordinance No. 588, series of 2012 for him to realize that there was no mention in the ordinance that June 18 is the “charter day” of the City but it was referred to as the date of signing into law of Commonwealth act no. 326 or the Charter of the City of Bacolod.
Lastly, while it is true that there is no law that prohibits the Sangguniang Panlungsod members to conduct hearings, however, we are governed by rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures that we have to follow to maintain order and decorum.
HON. CAESAR Z. DISTRITO
HON. DINDO C. RAMOS
HON. CINDY T. ROJAS
HON. EM LEGASPI ANG