Thank you, Hon. De los Santos

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - September 5, 2015 - 10:00am

I am printing here, in full, my letter to Honorable Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos as her legislative consultant.

Dear Hon. de los Santos,

At the very outset, let me hope and pray that you and everyone you love and care for, are in the pink of health when this letter reaches your honor's table.

It has been my distinct privilege and singular honor to have served you directly and the City of Cebu, indirectly, for a little more than two years now. I was truly humbled when you asked me to be your legislative consultant. Indeed, I do not know how to thank you enough for this rare opportunity.

True, I shared your frustrations when, at the beginning of your term, the members of the ruling majority insulted your capacity and competence in denying you chairmanship and even mere membership in the city council's committees. I felt that my inputs were useless because in our discussion, we knew their act was pure tyranny in numbers sans moral foundation.

Yet, you plodded on and asked me to stay by your side. Because I believed in you, I continued to contribute to you, your honor, whatever insignificant ideas I had from my little learning and experience. We were both mindful that your policy directions had to be aligned with, and therefore supportive of, the administration of His Honor, Mayor Michael L. Rama.

Last week however, I came to know from published reports that you have decided to sever political filiations with Hon. Mayor Rama and joined the ruling majority. That puts my consultancy irrelevant. For instance, I gave you some insights on the letter of a DILG official on the matter of the resolution that was passed by the city council authorizing the mayor to sell some portions of the SRP. My study of the legal nuances involved showed that the letter was anchored on a wrong premise and that was the reason, it ended in a flawed character.

Of course, since you are my principal and my thoughts are just, en consulta, merely opinions, they are, as it was in that case of the DILG letter, but guides in your actions. It was your call whether or not to give weight to my opinion. In that particular instance, you must have believed that my input was not anchored on solid ground such that you voted with the ruling majority.

There were insights given by other quarters that your vote on that issue hinged on political considerations. Permit me to say though, that I seem to agree with that observation and as I say this, I beg your apology.

Given that circumstance, I surmise the potentials of conflicting interests. While I serve you, as your honor's legislative consultant, I perform my duties as part of the city administration. Where your policy directions may be influenced by your new political affiliation, my thoughts, as your consultant, can come in conflict. I cannot, in conscience, give you any advice supportive of your new directions when they clash against the policies of the present administration I am also a part of.

I am thus constrained to request you, your honor, to release me from my official responsibilities to you and to the city. I hope that you shall move to pass a resolution for the mutual rescission of the Contract of Services as your legislative consultant, effective August 31, 2015.

Let me assure you though that I keep you in my highest respect as I salute your profound perceptions on governance. Your change in political persuasion will not diminish my admiration for your high sense of respectability. In fact, it is my wish that your new alliances will treat your idealism and vigor as added perspectives to the group.

Further, I value the kind of healthy relationship we developed these past several years dating back to your running for mayor of the city against former Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña, so that even if you have changed to a new political color, ironically and strangely, to that of Mr. Osmeña's, in all candidness, commit to you my vote as you climb up the ladder of your political career, unless, of course, there might be reasons to compel me to review this position.




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