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Break-the-tie vote stirs political split


A Latin phrase ‘SUI GENERIS” means in a class by itself. That’s how some senators judge view and describe the impeachment court. As we watch the proceedings on TV impeachment court maintain its own peculiar kind.

With the TRO issued by the Supreme Court it may result to constitutional crisis. A clash between two highest tribunals, the High Tribunal and the Impeachment Court of the Senate. As to who is supreme over the other is a thing worth discerning. Chief Justice Renato Corona is using the Supreme Court to his advantage and the Senate impeachment court headed by its President, Juan Ponce Enrile as the presiding judge whose brilliance and sense of liberality are rare traits and qualities for a 82-years old senator of this Republic.

Over here across the channel in the new city of Lamitan, we see similar scenario a clash between two political bigwigs in the city government. In the February 8, 2012 regular session of the Sanggunian, the 6-6 tie vote on the approval of the proposed bank loan of P 300 million pesos initiated by the city mayor has stirred a political break-up. It has shown to the Lamiteños the strong rivalry between two local political leaders who are both affluent and influential.

The aftermath on the disapproval of the bank loan has caused the recall of the service vehicle and security guards assigned to the city vice mayor who broke the tie-vote that resulted to the 7-6 votes in favor of non-approval of the LBP loan. Worse, there is a rumor spreading out that the power of recall shall be exercised by some petitioners against the city vice mayor for loss of confidence.

Power of recall for loss of confidence shall be exercised by the registered voters in the local government unit concerned in which the local official sought to be recalled was elected. Nonetheless, no recall shall take place within one year immediately preceding a regular local election. There will be an election in the year 2013.

The $64 question –Will the Commission on Elections proceed with this recall election owing to the fact that the one-year prohibition which falls on May 2012 is just more than two months away? Let’s keep a close watch on the recall plan. In a sense, an impeachment against the city vice mayor.

By the way, the six city councilors who voted against the bank loan belong to prominent and affluent families. To mention few, Councilors Jessica Wee Eisma-Flores, Roy M. Mateo, Tito Ramos and Jimmy Andong. Of course. The other two city councilors, Jaime Oretga and Donel Ramos are likewise wealthy and well-off. Three of the six councilors are re-electionist for their third term and the other to make it four is a re-electionist but may not anymore seek the second term due to poor health. Councilors Donel Ramos and Jaime Ortega are now on their third or last term in office as duly elected members of the Sanggunian.

The P 300 million pesos loan is a laudable move in the right direction. For an infant city like Lamitan, it needs more fund for its development. The investment in terms of bank loan would be compensated by the infra-projects under the proposal of the city mayor. Some of the projects are self-liquidating such as the two-storey commercial buildings’ and additional market stalls in the city’s commercial complex as well as the hundred thousand rubber seedlings. The Loan is a burden but it can be reduced to a reasonable amount on short term basis.

Had the city vice mayor voted in favor of the loan, he would have emerged as the man of the hour and become very popular considering the approval would set forth laudable development projects. Anyway, somehow, let us respect the views and decision of the city vice mayor. He is entitled to his constitutional right and freedom of expression. It is not too late yet in case a change on decision comes forth. They say nothing is permanent except CHANGE.

Bye for now, here’s a greeting of HAPPY VALENTINE to a special friend with initial VFM, a very friendly ma’am. GODSPEED.

By Peryasser Lahaman

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