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Cebu News

Council voting results in stalemate

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council has “suspended” the implementation of the ordinance designating a 10.6-hectare portion of the South Road Properties as one-stop sports hub in the city pending determination on the legality of its action to override the mayor’s veto.

The result of the council’s voting to override Mayor Michael Rama’s veto on the Ordinance 2413 resulted in another controversy, whether or not the 11 votes are sufficient and constituted the required two-thirds vote under the Local Government Code.

The councilors who voted to override Rama’s veto include Eugenio Gabuya, author of the ordinance, and his co-authors Nendell Hanz Abella and Mary Ann Delos Santos, Alvin Dizon, Leah Japson, Ma. Nida Cabrera, Sisinio Andales, Margarita Osmeña, Roberto Cabarrubias, Nestor Archival Sr., and Alvin Arcilla.

Councilors Gerardo Carillo, Noel Wenceslao, and James Anthony Cuenco did not vote while Councilors David Tumulak, Philip Zafra, and Richie Osmeña were not around during the voting.

The council has agreed to seek legal opinion from the Department of Interior and Local Government whether or not two-thirds vote has been achieved. Pending the DILG’s opinion, the implementation of the ordinance shall be suspended.

The argument centered on whether or not the presiding officer is included in the determination of the two-thirds of all the members of the council. 

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella cited a 2001 Supreme Court decision in the case of Gamboa versus Aguirre and Araneta wherein the presiding officer was included in the determination of whether or not the simple majority vote was met.  

Labella said that a quorum of the Sangguniang Panlungsod refers to the majority of all the members of the council who have been duly elected and qualified, which means, including him as the presiding officer and as Vice mayor of the City of Cebu.

“It is my respectful submission, I hope you would understand, that there is a deciding case, as pointed out by Department of Interior and Local Government, that the presiding officer is included in the voting of the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” he said.

Gabuya also presented a DILG legal opinion as to whether or not the city vice mayor is included in the determination of a quorum and whether or not the city vice mayor is included in the determination of the two-thirds vote required in the overriding of the veto by the city mayor.

“Your legal opinion is dated 2001, I have here legal opinion specifically whether or not the city vice mayor is included in the determination of two-thirds votes,” he said.

Gabuya said that in the DILG opinion, presiding officer can vote only to break a tie pursuant to Section 49 of the Local Government Code. The stalemate resulting in the council’s agreeing to seek another opinion from DILG.

Rama earlier vetoed the ordinance establishing the one-stop sports hub at the SRP. The mayor said he is not against the idea but the council should not dictate upon him which property must be designated.— (FREEMAN)

 

AGUIRRE AND ARANETA

ALVIN ARCILLA

ALVIN DIZON

CEBU CITY COUNCIL

CITY

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

MAYOR

SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD

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