Tuesday, July 17, 2012
COA "punishing" kaps in Mangaldan
Holy Casserole and Guacamole, if towns and cities in Pangasinan could chalk up that kind of feat, the tens of millions of pesos if not hundreds of millions of pesos of loans their people pay yearly in the bank could be better used, say in buying medicines to give for free to constituents, or constructing public school classrooms. *** A source in Mangaldan complained to me that the resident boss of the Commission on Audit in the 4th Congressional District has been putting in an awkward position the barangay captains in the town by ordering them to report to her expenses below P20 thousand, before they are going to spend it. He said that the memorandum of the COA’s boss is unconstitutional and a violation of the procurement law. “Wala namang sinasabi sa batas na pre-audit, lahat post audit,” he whined. I told him the COA is probably after the butt of Mangaldan because of the hubbub brought by the alleged payroll scam in the municipal government. “Pero hindi dapat double standard ang COA, bakit hindi nila ginagawa sa Dagupan City, Manaoag, San Jacinto, and San Fabian iyang policy na iyan. Bakit sa Mangaldan lang,” he hissed. He said that the COA boss should clean first her house because of an official there who has a relative who is a ghost employee in one of the LGUs in the 4th District. Dios ko, totoo ba ito? *** I bumped recently into lawyer Roy Laforteza, legal officer of Dagupan City, and exchanged some notes on my last week column’s and digs on a honcho at the Department of Interior & Local Government who opined that there should be three readings during a special session of Sangguniang Panglungsod. “What’s your take on (DILG Director II Jesus) Doque (IV) opinion that the resolution passed by the council (empowering Mayor Benjamin S. Lim to sell the five-story three-star McAdore International Palace and the lot in Talibaew, Calasiao) was irregular because the proponent Councilor Chito Samson did not notify through a letter within 24 hours some of the aldermen at their respective residence thus they were not able to attend the (special) session in April 19 this year?” I posed to him. Atty Laforteza said despite the failure to notify them through a letter (as mandated by Section 52 (D) by the Local Government Code of 1991), the majority votes that approved Resolution -4902 empowering the mayor was more than enough. “Remember that the laws say that Resolution was imbued with regularity. “But Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez and others through a tax payer can sue the mayor and can petition the Regional Trial Court for Declaratory Relief and Similar Remedies with injunction thus barring Mayor Lim to sell the properties after his last year in 2013?” I asked. He said it is not easy to file a petition to nullify the resolution. A petitioner has to pay a bond that runs to millions of pesos for the court to entertain it. “But surely in case the petitioner is hell bent to file injunction, it could undermine Mayor Lim, just like what happened to Metro Plaza, for him to sell the edifice and the property in Calasiao and deprives him of needed revenues to fund his projects?”. Atty. Laforteza paused and eventually nodded his head. *** At the regular “Meet the Press” called by the Kilusang Broadcaster ng Pilipinas held at the Philippine Information Office in Dagupan City, I asked Councilor Brian Lim, one of the top whips of the new majority party in the august body, which probably one of the factors that prompted them to realign with the new majority was because of the opinion of Duque about the non-notification thing to some dads. “Did the realignment ensued because Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez petitions the court with a declaratory relief and injunction thus delaying the sell of the properties? Can we expect that the new majority re-do the lack of personal notification, and eventually the resolution empowering the mayor to sell, undergo a three-reading process? Brian told me he could not comment on my queries because until now each of the members of the City Council has not yet received Duque’s opinion. “Mabuti pa kayo sa media nabasa niyo na, pero kami hanggang ngayon di pa namin natatangap ang sulat,” he said. (You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org).