Tuesday, November 14, 2017
BACOLOD City – It was all part of his “ministerial duty” as the secretary of the city council.
For Vicente Petierre III, the legality of the public hearing that Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. conducted on Nov. 9 “rests with the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).”
The public hearing tackled House Bill No. 5875, which seeks to declare June 18 of every year as the Bacolod City Charter Day and make it a special nonworking public holiday in the city.
The bill, which Rep. Greg Gasataya filed at the House of Representatives, is still pending approval.
“I signed it because it is ministerial on the part of the secretary to sign the notice of public hearing prepared by the councilors,” Petierre told Panay News.
He explained that he “has no discretion whether or not to sign a notice for public hearing” because “it is the councilors who know who to invite and are knowledgeable of the subject matter of the public hearing.”
In an interview last week, Gamboa said “Ang pagpabalo sang pagconduct sang public hearing is official kay gin-agi ko ang notice of public hearing sa SP. Pirmado ato iya sang secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod kag ginpanagaan ini ang tanan nga konsehal sang copy sang notice. Indi man ako ya nagpadala kag nag-matomato pirma.”
On Sunday, Councilor Caesar Distrito released a statement criticizing Gamboa’s plan to hold another public hearing.
Distrito said the conduct of the public hearing that Gamboa called was not in accordance with the internal rules of the SP.
He added that Gamboa has “no authority from the Sanggunian” to conduct the meeting because it was “never referred” to any of the committees that he chairs.
For his part, Gamboa said that there was nothing stated in the SP internal rules that prohibit him from conducting the public hearing./PN