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Margot: Council still cannot act on SB-1

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM (The Freeman) - November 29, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - With the filing of a motion for reconsideration on the decision on the civil case questioning the validity of the sale of South Road Properties lots, Cebu City Councilor Margarita Osmeña said the City Council will not lift its suspension of the deliberation on Supplemental Budget-1.

Osmeña, majority floor leader and the head of the council's committee on budget and finance, said they were just being consistent that they will not act on the budget unless there is already the court's "final and executory" decision.

"We're consistent lang man. That's why I keep on saying, I understand the Vice Mayor when he filed something in Ombudsman. He's (Labella) the father of the Council, he's our leader supposedly, explain to us the implications. What happens next?" she said.

The opposition-dominated council has deferred approval of the P2.8-billion SB-1 because of the civil case filed by lawyer Romulo Torres asking the court to stop the city from using revenue from the sale of two SRP lots as fund source of SB-1.

The budget contains the P87-million allocation for garbage collection and tipping fee,and P77.3 million for the productivity enhancement incentive of City Hall employees, among others.

Recently, the court ruled that the city can use the sale of the SRP lots to fund its projects, but Torres has asked the court to reconsider its order dismissing his case by filing a motion for reconsideration last Friday afternoon.

Torres pointed out that the decision of the City Council to suspend deliberations on SB-1 before the court would rule on his case was a clear indication, if not an admission on the part of the city officials that there exists a "justiciable controversy" over the use of the available funds.

This, Osmeña said, was a "logical step" available for Torres.

City Mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, on the other hand, believed the Regional Trial Court would deny Torres' motion for reconsideration after ruling that the case he filed "lacks palpable merit."

Rama described the motion for reconsideration as "an exercise in futility" while Labella said it is "whimsical and malicious."

"I cannot imagine why stubbornness should be displayed unless it is really an utmost manifestation of political gimmickry and cheap exercise to bring about a losing battle," Rama said.

Labella, for his part, said "there is really no chance that the court would reverse itself and (for) higher judicial authorities to reverse the Regional Trial Court (decision) because the issues are very clear and simple."

He said Torres has the right to file a motion for reconsideration, as provided under the justice system, but the former prosecutor should examine his conscience whether or not he is being "commanded or persuaded" by someone.

"I would advise him (Torres) to examine his conscience. Make a self-examination. Examination because what is involved here is the payment of the SRP loan under the stalled SB-1," he said.  (FREEMAN)

 

 

ATILDE CEBU CITY COUNCILOR MARGARITA OSME CITY CITY COUNCIL CITY HALL CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA AND VICE MAYOR EDGARDO LABELLA COURT OSME QUOT RAMA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
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