Validity of resolutions approved after session adjournment questioned

CEBU City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who presides over the City Council, said the continuation of the regular session Wednesday night that was initiated by the majority bloc was “not proper, not authorized and illegal” and anything that was approved during that proceeding is invalid.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña, though, said that approval of the two resolutions covering the P18-billion Kawit Island development and the proposed Binaliw landfill project was valid.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7 Acting Director Maria Loisella Lucino explained that in parliamentary rule, a body can never adjourn if there are still issues being raised on time.

Lucino said they will have to look into the circumstances during last Wednesday’s session.

“We have to look at their rules. Someone should raised the validity of that proceeding before us to allow us to review if the procedure was properly observed,” she said.

Labella clarified that they never walked out during the session because it was already adjourned.

“It was very clear that when we stepped down, there was adjournment already,” he said.

Labella said Councilor Raymond Garcia moved for the adjournment and Councilor Joel Garganera seconded it.

Records, stenographic notes

Garcia said that when Labella, being the presiding officer, banged the gavel, it signified the session adjourned.

Garcia also said that the staff of Labella did not try to steal the mace since the session already ended.

During the session last Wednesday, the majority bloc continued the session after Labella said the proceeding was adjourned.

It was during the continuation of the proceeding that the majority approved the resolutions of Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Alvin Arcilla covering the P18-billion Kawit Island deal and the Binaliw landfill project, respectively.

Acting City Council Secretariat Roy Vincent Alix said the records and stenographic notes state that the session last Wednesday was adjourned before Labella and the eight other councilors left the session hall.

Alix said they continued to take down notes during the proceedings initiated by the majority bloc since their duty is just ministerial.

Alix said that it’s not for them to question the legality of the proceeding.

Atty. Amando Virgil Ligutan, lawyer of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, said that there was an objection raised by members of the majority, that’s why the session should not have been adjourned.

Sealing the Kawit deal

“They’re trying to portray as if it was that simple on how things went last night (Wednesday). You see in the video that members of the council were raising a motion, objections and the vice mayor conveniently ignored every motion because he wants to adjourn,” he said.

Osmeña, for his part, said the session “was not properly adjourned because it had to be moved then seconded and if there should be an objection it should be voted upon” and that did not happen.

“They’re welcome to file their cases. To me it’s very valid, I was congressman too, even if I was never a councilor. You just don’t adjourn like that,” he said.

Osmeña said that since the resolution was approved already, they will immediately schedule the signing of the amendment of the joint-venture agreement with the Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc., the proponent of the Kawit Island development.

Once the deal is signed, Osmeña said the developer will immediately start the construction of the integrated resort facility in the South Road Properties.

Source: Local News

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