The seven councilors who are now the so called minority in the city council went to court Wednesday to contest what the vice mayor Faustino Olowan says as the majority after some of the former’s members were ousted from the
committees they chair during the restructuring of committees in last Monday’s regular session. The seven councilors
voiced their opposition to the reorganization of the Sangguniang Panglungsod committees Monday with one councilor expected to not even hold a committee which he could chair.

Some say that a majority is 10, even as the minority’s counsel, former councilor Rocky Balisong, opined that it could be 8.5. Both party submitted their respective position paper Friday in what appears as the first time that members of the city council were at odds an the first they went to court to settle an issue. The majority of eight with Olowan backing them decided to replace chairs of key committees among which are lands chaired by Leandro Yangot, Jr., Benny Bomogao’s utilities, transportation, and traffic and Mylen Yaron’s public works.

Yangot was told to cede his post to Peter Fianza, who vacated his committee on laws chairmanship which Molintas
gamely accepted after an eight pro votes and seven abstention result for both. Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda, Vladimir Cayabas, Elmer Datuin and Rocky Aliping joined Yangot, Bomogao and Yaranon in filing a petition for the issuance of a preliminary restraining order for the court to issue a definitive ruling of how many votes are needed to
comprise a majority vote.

Olowan said that the reorganization must proceed so they can better serve the public thumbing down the petition of their collegueas he called as “Magic 7”. Bomogao was later replaced by councilor Fred Bagbagen. The petition is said to be the first made in the city and in the region. Tabanda, meanwhile, retained her chairmanship of the committee
on health and environment but Yaranon lost the committee on public works to Isabelo Cosalan, Jr. She now chairs the labor and employment and cooperatives.

Councilor Leah Farinas also retained her postion as chair of the committee on tourism Cayabas, on the other, hand
may retain his committee on education, culture, creativity and research chairmanship after a 7-1- 7 yes-no-abstention vote. Councilor Arthur Alad-iw has earlier proposed that Cayabas retain the education, creativity and
research portions and cede the culture to Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Maximo Hilario Edwin, Jr. which the body denied.

Olowan said that as chair, he could yet vote to have Cayabas retain his chairmanship. Meanwhile, the ex-officio
members will retain their chairmanship with Sangguniang Kabataan chair John Rhey Mananeng for sports and Aliping for the barangay affairs. The proreorganization councilors earlier said that the two will not be affected by the Monday move, which was the first in the agenda that lasted more than two hours.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon