Delos Santos: “house rules not followed during discussion of P18B development deal”
Were the opposition councilors allowed to override the motion which would have authorized Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to sign the contract to enter into a joint-venture agreement (JVA) with the Gokongwei-led Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. (UHRI) on developing the Kawit Island with another motion rejecting it?
This was the question raised by City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos during their regular session today.
Delos Santos, an ally of Osmeña under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) party, asserted that the house rules of the council was not followed accordingly during their discussion on the P18-billion development deal last May 8.
“Instead of putting the matter to a vote, the Presiding Officer (Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella), declared a recess. Once the session resumed, and apparently after surreptitiously browsing through our rules of procedure, member Raymond Garcia raised the concept of ‘privilege motion’ and moved that the JVA be referred back to the ad-hoc committee,” said Delos Santos.
“What I am raising here is the issue of our non-adherence to our own rules of procedure, especially in crucial moments like what was done during our session last May 8,” she added.
Delos Santos also called out Labella for apparently ignoring the rules and procedures, and described his actions as ‘unprocedural’ and ‘unjustified’.
“Right before our eyes, you violated our own rules. Such act should not be countenanced,” said Delos Santos.
Sought for comments, both Labella and Garcia said that privilege motions are allowed in the legislation. But clarified that instead of ‘privilege motions’, they are often referred to as subsidiary motions.
They also questioned why the administration’s bloc did not raise any questions or objections during their discussion on the JVA.
“I respect her comments, that’s her opinion but they were given the opportunity to discuss. They should have appealed on the decision,” said Labella.
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