The injunction case filed by MKK candidates to stop the loan for various flagship projects of the Leonardia administration is purely politicking and meant to delay and stop the development of the city, acting Vice Mayor Caesar Distrito, said yesterday.
There were also no procedural flaws since they followed all processes and requirements, he said after learning that the MKK, led by mayoralty candidate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, filed a case for Certiorari, Prohibition and Annulment of Contract with Prayer for TRO, Preliminary Injunction and/or Mandatory Injunction.
Distrito pointed out that the law does not require a public hearing. The votes required are only eight, being the majority of all members, and no publication is required in this kind of ordinance.
“Still, we called for a public hearing where the public was invited and even announced it in the media so that anybody interested can participate and will be given the chance to be heard, and still nobody among the opposition attended it despite such notice and knowledge,” he said.
Distrito further said that the votes were even more than eight, as it got 11 votes coming from Councilors Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Sonya Verdeflor, Lady Gles Gonzales-Pallen and Ayesha Villaflor.
NO PROCEDURAL FLAWS
“There are no procedural flaws since all the processes and requirements needed were followed as we had debated the same since July of last year when we authorized the mayor to negotiate with the Department of Finance and any other government financing institutions,” he said.
Ramos said they also passed numerous resolutions in several sessions, and painstakingly discussed the merits and demerits of the said loan. In short, it took them more than six months until this time that they had all this tackled and debated upon in the SP.”
Councilor Renecito Novero explained that as early as 2017, all the projects had been studied by various bodies such as the Bacolod City College (BCC) Board, the Local Housing Board, the City Development Council and the City Engineer’s Office, and this was subsequently ratified by the SP.
“The opposition councilors even voted in favor of those resolutions. And rightly so, because the improvement of BCC will benefit thousands of poor, young but deserving students of Bacolod City. And the improvement of the relocation site will benefit thousands of informal settlers in the city,” he said.
In other words, these projects are “pro-people.” Opposing them is to go against the welfare of Bacolodnons,” Novero said.
“Our term of office is until June 30, so why do we have to stop all these proposed developments and projects for the city?” Ang asked.
Ang said this will certainly benefit thousands of informal settlers, will remove illegal structures and transfer them to a conducive, more humane and livable homes at the Progreso Village Relocation Site.
Rojas, on the other hand, explained that BCC will now solve the issue of backlog in education.
“Once the BCC expansion is finished, it will be able to accommodate thousands of indigent college students as four school buildings will be constructed, and a gymnasium,” Rojas said.
Villaflor said that “If other cities in Negros Occidental have coliseums and ours is only the BAYS Center, why is it that Bacolod City cannot have its own coliseum? Sports and large convention venues are also necessary considering that Bacolod is a highly urbanized city and that we are among the top choices in hosting major events. Given also that the city give its sports program priority.”
Gonzales-Pallen said that various roads and bridges will benefit the entire city as major infrastructure development projects will be materialized like the rehabilitation of the Mansilingan-Handumanan-Felisa road, the construction of the Vista Alegre-Granada bridge, the construction of the Gonzaga Bridge in Barangay 27 and Taculing, the reconstruction of the Lacson Extension Bridge behind the Goldenfield Commercial Complex in Barangay Singcang-Airport going to Alijis, developments also of the Shopping Hilado Road and other major thoroughfares of the city.
Sy said that as the chairperson of the Committee on Public Works, he is aware of the flagship infrastructure projects for he was always invited during hearings in the City Development Council and the technical working group and he found them to be beneficial since they will contribute so much in addressing the needs of the continuously developing Bacolod City.
Palermo said that she voted for its approval because the projects are all for the welfare of the city and that in several deliberations in the Sanggunian, nothing irregular was found.
Palermo also said that relevant laws on the matter were properly applied and those who voted, like her, observed utmost diligence in making sure that the loan will be advantageous to the city.
“This was not made overnight. Instead, this was a product of thorough discussions and in-depth debates in the Sanggunian. It is unfair to say that we had railroaded it,” Orola added.
Acting Bacolod Mayor El Cid Familiaran yesterday said it is their right to question the procedure. But this is all politics. They do not want the Leonardia administration to succeed.
They complied with all the requirements and procedures needed, he also said.
Familiaran said they will leave it to the court to decide but they are very confident that the case will be dismissed.
He advised the petitioners to concentrate on their campaign and let the people decide on the candidates they want to vote for.*
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