Davide: Why not question provincial ordinance before court?
CEBU CITY, Philippines — More local officials in Cebu expressed their support behind the recent ordinance that makes wearing face masks an option, and not anymore a requirement, in open spaces, as the national government reiterates its stance that it goes against the law.
Cebu Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III is the latest to publicly express his support for the ordinance titled “An Ordinance Rationalizing the Wearing of Face Masks within the Province of Cebu.”
It formally adopted Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s EO No. 16, issued last June 8, and sparked nationwide discussions and debates on the wearing of face masks, a primary anti-COVID measure.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, June 16, Davide agreed with the statements from the Capitol’s legal consultants that the ordinance, passed last June 14, did not violate any law, contradicting the claims from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that it is ‘invalid and illegal’.
“Ang akong position ana is, (since) it’s already an ordinance, it’s a law. So, I think that mao gyud na ang mo prevail. That’s my position,” said Davide.
(My position on that is, (since) it’s already an ordinance, it’s a law. So, I think that that will be the one that will prevail. That’s my position.)
He said that the passage of the controversial ordinance was in accordance with the provisions found in the Local Government Code that would grant provincial governments local autonomy in creating laws.
“This is an exercise of the province’s, of the provincial government’s autonomy. (Ang) local autonomy, naa man gyud na sa Local Government Code gyud so duna nay legal gyud ang pag issue ni Governor Garcia sa EO and plus this ordinance,” Davide explained.
(This is an exercise of the province’s, of the provincial government’s autonomy. The local autonomy, it is really in the Local Government Code so Governor Garcia’s issuing the EO has legal basis and plus this ordinance.)
The vice governor-elect, who served as the chairperson of the Provincial Board, also suggested that the Court would serve as the proper avenue to question both the EO and the ordinance’s legality.
“Kung buot questionon na sa IATF, adto sila sa korte to question the validity of the ordinance,” said Davide.
(If the IATF would like to question that, then they should go to the court to question the validity of the ordinance.)
In its latest tirade, the DILG warned Garcia and the provincial government that they might face legal consequences if they would keep implementing the ordinance.
Garcia, in an earlier press conference, was undeterred. Her consultants, in response, also challenged the DILG to show proof that both the EO and the ordinance had no legal basis.
Aside from Davide, mayors and councilors in Cebu also formally backed the province’s newest ordinance.
Both the Cebu chapters of the Philippine Councilors League, and the League of Municipalities in the Philippines, in separate resolutions, threw their support to the Capitol’s moves.
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