Councilor suspended for not signing resolutions
BY RUTH PALO
The Manila Times
DAVAO CITY: A councilor in Mati City, Davao Oriental was suspended for 15 days following her refusal to sign three Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) resolutions passed by the city council when she was the presiding officer. The suspension order against Councilor Xenna Princess Campos was issued by the SP of Mati City. Resolution 42, series of 2023, adopted the decision submitted by the Committee on Rules and Privileges and the Committee on Good Government, Public Ethics and Accountabilities over the disorderly behavior committed by Councilor Campos during the coordination meeting on Feb. 3, 2023 and for refusing without valid excuse to perform a task assigned to her. Campos was suspended for 15 days without remuneration based on Section 1, 8, Rule XVIII of the Internal Rules and Procedures of the Seventh City Council of the City of Mati. The Mati City Information Office, in its report, said that according to Vice Mayor Enzo Rabat the refusal of Campos to affix her signature on the three edited resolution has affected the obligation of the local government unit (LGU) to pay the landowners of the three properties purchased by the city. The controversy stemmed from the three SP resolutions passed on Dec. 20, 2022 which authorized Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat to sign for and on behalf of the city government of Mati the conditional deed of sale with three landowners. It was learned that the original amounts stated in the three SP resolutions were based on the appraisal value coming from the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC). BAC secretariat head Lucio Pequiro, however, said there was a mistake on their part as the amount indicated in the resolution should have been the amount approved by the Land Bank of the Philippines and not the appraised value. Documents showed that the total appraised value of the three properties was P52,805,670 but the Land Bank only approved a land acquisition amount of P46,635,670. To rectify the discrepancy, the LGU negotiated with the landowners to lower the price of their properties to match with the approved amount as part of the P400 million loan by the Mati LGU. Upon agreement with the landowners, the LGU then requested the city council to make the necessary corrections on the amount in the resolutions they earlier passed. The LGU request was approved by the majority of the local lawmakers during a caucus and later a session. Being the presiding officer during the approval of the said SP resolutions, Councilor Campos was asked to affix her signature on the corrected SP resolutions. She refused. During a press conference called by the City Council led by Vice Mayor Rabat on Thursday afternoon, March 16, the councilors in attendance claimed that they do not know the reason why Councilor Campos refused to affix her signature to the corrected resolutions when she was present during the caucus and session when the issue was settled and agreed upon by the councilors. The city council added that the local government even saved a total of P6,170,000 after the corrections had been made on the three SP resolutions. Because the corrected SP resolutions had not been signed by the presiding officer, the councilors said that the three landowners have not been fully paid yet by the LGU despite the fact that the local government is already ready to use the said properties. One of the properties involved is the land where the Super Health Center is being constructed in Magapo, Barangay Central. The national government is allocating a total of P16.5 million for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project.