Attendance of 4 lawyers in Mandaue session questioned

By: Mary Rose S. Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | March 04,2024 - 07:50 PM

mandaue session

Mandaue City Council holds a regular session on Monday, March 4. It was attended by different department heads in line with Mayor Jonas Cortes’ executive order authorizing them to represent him during sessions./Contributed via Mary Rose Sagarino

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu —  A councilor of Mandaue City is questioning the participation of four lawyers representing Mayor Jonas Cortes during the sessions of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

On Monday, March 4, different department heads including City Administrator Jamaal James Calipayan, City Budget Officer Atty. Giovanni Tianero, and Atty. August Lizer Malate, head of the Business Permit and Licensing Office, attended the city council’s regular session.

Their attendance is in line with Executive Order No. 12 series of 2024 issued by Mayor Jonas Cortes, authorizing them, including City Legal Officer Atty. John Eddu Ibañez, to represent him during sessions.

Constitutional Crisis

The intention behind their participation was questioned by City Councilor and lawyer Joel Seno, who stated that it is unconstitutional.

“Naa man guy powers diri as provided for under the Local Government Code, and it is very specific there, the powers granted to the mayor. We also have our powers here.  That is why it is very important to recognize the separation of powers, even in other countries and cities, ” said Seno.

“The nearest that the local government provided to the city mayor is to propose an initiation of the legislative matter….That will pose an unconstitutional crisis because that is tantamount to an ultra vires act,” he added.

Better Working Relationship

For their part, the department heads explained that their presence was for immediate coordination with the council and the mayor’s office.

“Maayo man pero para better pa, to improve the relationship,” said City Budget Officer Giovanni Tianero.

“As you know, most of the agenda sa SP are endorsed by the executive, usually the executive calls for a resource person so that we can clarify certain matters. It would really facilitate nga if any questions dili na kinahanglan maghuwat pa sunod semana, naa ra dayun to answer questions. All in all, I think there is no violation of any law and if there is a violation there are courts that we can seek relief to if naa tay ipa declare nga unconstitutional nga act,” City Administrator Atty. Jamaal James Calipayan.

They added that the session is open to the public and that anyone can attend it.

Calipayan said that they can only participate in the discussion if they are asked by the members of the city council and recognized by the presiding officer.


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TAGS: Mandaue City, session

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