Antoni on rally: Barking up the wrong tree
TACLOBAN CITY – They are barking at a wrong tree.So said Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni, who reacted to the rally conducted by several barangay officials of this city held at the ground of the Sangguniang Panlungsod last Wednesday afternoon.
The rally, which was participated by about 200 barangay officials and said to be supporters of Mayor Alfred Romualdez, started at about 3:00 p.m. while session of the city council was on progress.
The barangay officials who joined the rally held placards containing a message that questions Antoni and the rest of the minority group why they opposes the plan of Mayor Romualdez to secure a loan.
Mayor Romualdez planned to secure P620 million to finance all the projects he wanted to implement, which basically aimed to contribute for development of the city.
Antoni, in an interview, said that it is very uncommon that members of the minority group are the ones who faces the crowd conducting a rally. “This just only happens in Tacloban under Mayor Alfred administration.”
However, Antoni acknowledged that the barangay officials were exercising their right to express their sentiments.
According to him, rather than letting the officials to hold a rally at SP ground, the city mayor instead have to properly explai to the barangay officials the actual reason why the loan was hindered.
“The mayor should have told his brgy officials that the minority group is not the one who hinders the obtaining of loan, but, the stipulations under section 324 of Republic Act 7160 of the Local Government Code of 1991, which was being considered by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) in allowing any local government unit to take a loan,” Antoni said.
“In fact, when the SP passed a resolution authorizing and ratifying the loan agreement in the amount of P622 m, the minority group including Councilors Neil Glova and Jerry Uy walked out and the presiding officer relinquished his post. Then, why this gathering was directed to us, knowing the fact that we cannot prevent them (the majority bloc composed of eight SP members) on taking the loan,” he added.
The official said that the declaration made by the BLGF is the legal reason why the loan was not being granted to the administration. “Why should we also take the loan now, when it is just seven months before the conduct of the May 2013 election?” (REY GERILLA GRADO)
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