ONE Cebu vice gubernatorial candidate Nerissa Soon-Ruiz accused Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale of being irresponsible for allegedly prioritizing her campaign over her job as presiding officer of the Provincial Board (PB).
In a press statement released yesterday, Soon-Ruiz criticized the vice governor for campaigning for the May 9 elections last Monday instead of attending the PB’s regular session.
“It was her duty to preside over 35 measures important to the Cebuanos, but where was she? Campaigning for herself,” Soon-Ruiz said.
The administration-backed Liberal Party (LP), led by reelectionist Gov. Hilario Davide III, kicked off its three-day campaign caravan in Argao last Monday.
Without a quorum in the last regular session, the board was unable to take up 35 measures.
These consisted of a proposed ordinance institutionalizing an organic agriculture program in the province for third reading and supplemental budgets of various local government units, among others.
Vice Governor Magpale defended herself by saying she never intended for the board not to achieve a quorum this week and that she was on leave last Monday.
“I didn’t even know that there won’t be any quorum,” she said.
The vice governor said she is entitled to go on leave because she has been “working hard” and that it was her decision to go on the campaign trail.
Only five of the 14-member board were present last Monday, forcing presiding officer PB Member Miguel Antonio Magpale to adjourn the session after 30 minutes. The board needs at least eight members for a quorum.
Aside from the acting presiding officer, also present were PB Members Jude Sybico, Raul Alcoseba, Ivy Meca, and Celestino Martinez III.
Some board members reportedly informed the PB secretary last Monday morning that they could not attend the session because they were on “official business.”
Magpale said it was only her and PB members Christopher Baricuatro and Peter John Calderon that attended the three-day LP caravan.
“I’m sorry if that’s what she (Soon-Ruiz) thinks. She is entitled to her own opinion, but, please, don’t use me so you’ll become famous,” the vice governor said, referring to Soon-Ruiz.