City dads won’t seek DILG’s opinion

By Morexette Marie B. Erram |August 10,2018 - 10:49 PM

LEGALITY OF CONTROVERSIAL TWO DAY SESSION

Issues surrounding the legality of the controversial two-day Cebu City Council session last August 7 and 8 may no longer be determined after both the administration Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), and the opposition United Barug Team Rama announced that they no longer planned to seek the legal opinion of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG -7) to resolve the matter.

Yesterday, both parties announced that their contradictory actions were valid, and the need for DILG – 7’s legal opinion will no longer be necessary.

BOPK maintains that there was no adjournment of the session last Wednesday; while members of Barug insist that they had left the session hall precisely because Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, the Council’s presiding officer, had adjourned the meeting at 8:30 in the evening.

The nine councilors from BOPK protested the actions of Labella and the rest of Barug, and decided to resume the session until 9 p.m. or around 30 minutes after Labella reportedly banged the gavel.

The administration bloc, which is now the majority in the council, continued with Councilor Dave Tumulak, the pro-tempore officer, as the presiding officer in the absence of Labella.

They voted for the resurrection of two resolutions: the P18-billion Kawit Island joint venture agreement (JVA) with Gokongwei-led Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. (UHRI), and the move to grant a special permit allowing a contractor to develop 10 hectares of land in Barangay Binaliw, Cebu City as a sanitary landfill.

Barug councilors criticized Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña for his eagerness to sign the JVA to develop Kawit Island along the city’s South Road Properties (SRP) into an integrated resort area while Osmeña allegedly continued to “sit down” on another SRP project that would generate jobs twenty times more than the Kawit project.

“He keeps bringing this 5,000 jobs (from the integretated resorts) but the administration now is sitting down on a project that would bring in 100,000 jobs, and it would now be there in the SRP if it weren’t for Osmeña,” said opposition councilor Joel Garganera.

Garganera was referring to the sports arena which the SM-Ayala, consortium planned to build on a 26-hectare property within the SRP.

Osmeña said that the transaction between the two firms and the city government, then headed by his political rival, former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, were illegal.

“The sale was consummated. Dako kaayo iyahang sala sa mga Sugbuanon sa iyahang paglingkod nianang development plan na supposedly karun, thousands na unta na employ (He has committed a very big sin to the Cebuanos because he sat on this development plan which supposedly could employ thousands), ” said Garganera.

Osmeña, in an earlier interview, said that he planned to sign the JVA with UHRI anytime this month.

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