City councilor tells exec to ‘observe proper decorum’

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Councilor Al Victor Espino said City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III should observe proper decorum in relation to memorandums issued to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

In a privilege speech in Wednesday’s regular session of the SP, Espino scored Maghari for dishing out memorandums to the council.

Espino said this act of the city administrator, who is under the executive department, is disrespectful to a co-equal body of government.

A memorandum is usually a brief communication rendered for inter-office circulation, he pointed out.

It is also a communication that contains a directive, advisory, or informative matter.

“It was brought to my attention that the SP has received no less than four memorandums addressed to all departments/offices and employees of which I believe, that Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code) has put in its proper place the definition that the SP is a co-equal body of our local government unit,” Espino said.

He added that there is a clear and established separation of powers between the Office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Office of the executive branch.

“I am here to explain to our City Administrator the proper decorum with which he has to deal with the SP and in this, the whole body of government in our LGU,” Espino said.

He pointed out that from the start, they have designated the Vice Mayor as their executive-legislative liaison.

“The proper act should have been that the City Administrator consulted with the Vice Mayor and expressed the intent of his office so that no misunderstanding would be taken from his actions by his response of the memorandums,” Espino further said.

Espino also said that in his long years of service in the government, never had there been an instance that the SP was issued a memorandum.

Maghari said he reviewed all memorandums he had issued, and none had been directed to the SP.

He said that his staff merely provided copies of the memorandums to the SP because there had been requests made before.

There was no bad intention on their part, and this could have been just an honest mistake, thinking that the SP needed copies, so they were provided some, he said.

“I extend my apologies for any inconvenience, not only to Councilor Al but to the SP as a body. I want to reiterate my respect to the institution and the separation of powers of the SP with the executive,” Maghari said.

Maghari said he considers Espino’s comment as constructive and that he is taking it as an opportunity to improve.