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Lamitan City amidst Socio-Political differences

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Well, as we all know that the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) acting as petitioners had questioned the constitutionality of the creation of sixteen cities included therein the Municipality of Lamitan. It had anchored their Ad Cautelam Motion for reconsideration upon the primordial ground that the High Court could no longer modify or alter its judgment that declared the cityhood laws unconstitutional considering such decision became final and executory.

It further claimed that the cityhood laws violated section 6 and 10 of Article X of the Constitution as well as the equal protection clause. The Supreme court however on April 12, 2011 promulgated a decision denied the Ad Cautelam Motion for reconsideration of the LCP with finality. In effect, Lamitan being one of the sixteen cities, it is worth to stay that its cityhood is now lawfully valid and binding.

As gleaned the creation of sixteen cities boils down to money issue as the reduction of the share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) would adversely affect the LC not necessarily the economic situation. Nonetheless, the LCP also gravely lost sight of the fact that municipalities now cities are in need of financial resources and likewise responsible for development imperatives.

With the Supreme Court decision final and executory, Lamiteños expect the local officials to work together and effort to fast track development of this infant city must be accorded top priority. Apparently, the difference lies on the comprehensive plan and strategy of the elective officials, their political perception and ambition as well as the expertise on prioritizing infrastructure development using the fiscal resources of the city.

Let us take a glance on the political status and scenario of the elective officials. Four of the present Sangguniang Panlungsod members are not eligible to seek re-election. The generous city mayor is on its third term in office and not anymore eligible to seek another term except for other higher or lower post. The city vice mayor is expected to seek the mayoralty post in 2013 election. Will his political cohorts in the Sangguniang support his bid. This column knows only of one member so loyal and true. The lone elective lady city councilor incidentally an elder sister by consanguinity.

The $64 question – will the incumbent city mayor throw his support to the vice mayor or field a new candidate to run against any mayoralty bet not coming from his political party?

Seemingly, a political clique emerge in the city council, the city elective officials though on speaking term, apparently their cryptic and selfish interests spoil the intimate relations and trust.

Be that as it may, the political difference must be set aside. They should work together to promote the welfare of their constituents and leave legacy for the people to see and remember.

The incumbent city mayor, Roderick H. Furigay in his avowed aspiration to bring development and change in Lamitan had seen the need to make it a city. His success to fulfill the dream for Lamitan to become a city is a great legacy. We may have differences off and on, yet, frankly and with candor, this writer tipped-off his hat and saluted him for the incessant effort to see Lamitan a component city. This is one legacy that will be written in the history book of Lamitan. It is not far-fetch to venture and say, one day in the future a move to change the name of Lamitan City to perhaps Furigay City, if not, Pedro Cuevas or Datu Kalun City to honor the great founder. The line of thinking may be silly, but definitely, it is not a crazy idea. It is valid and justifiable. More on this issue in the days to come.

And so without further ado, hopefully, Lamitan City officials should have a close-knit cooperation in the desire to speed up physical development and charge on the infant city. The year 2012 is a very appropriate year to start a new legacy with a new city budget of nearly P 300 million appropriation. Oh! Come on, bring Lamitan to a new fold on its development. Shall we call it a big challenge. Take it or leave it.

By Peryasser Lahaman




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