IN & OUT
Taking a break from the ZTE Broadband deal and the Erap verdict, we take a look at the local scene.
The September 26 Laoag City Council session is “null and void” according to veteran LC Councilor Juan Conrado Respicio, Committee on Laws chairman. The controversy arose when Vice-mayor Eddie Domingo who was Acting City Mayor at the time of the said session presided over the Council; according to law, this constituted a violation of the Law of separation of powers.
According to inside sources, some administration bloc stalwarts, purportedly neophyte councilors Atty. Donald Nicolas and Derrick Lao, were so eager to “railroad” the deferred proposed ordinance granting unlimited gasoline allowances to the Office of the Mayor, that this irregularity of the acting chief executive simultaneously exercising legislative power was overlooked.
Pundits have commented that Atty. Nicolas should have been aware of the oversight being a noted lawyer. Perhaps Atty. Vicentito “Toto” Lazo’s previous comment that Atty. Nicolas should go back to school is not far off the mark. By the way Atty. Lazo was absent during the said session.
Sources indicate that some in the administration are “displeased” with the actuations of Respicio. The same sources reveal that the ‘gasoline allowance” ordinance has generated misgivings in some members of the administration bloc, as Respicio and even neophyte councilors Lito Carag and Dr. Francis Dacuycuy. This is understandable as the proposed ordinance is too general and therefore prone to abuse. What is to stop the Office of the Mayor, or anybody with the approval of the mayoral office, from charging unofficial gasoline expenses to the city?
Respicio has always shown an independence dictated by the law and conscience. It appears that the Hon. Carag and the Hon. Dacuycuy also have a conscience, the morality to cross party lines for what is just and right.
But what of the others? It was during the First Quarter Storm years of the 70’s that I first heard of the term “tuta.” It appears that these particular breed of canines have been resurrected in the august confines of the 7th Sanggunian Panglungsod.
The impending entry of the giant mall conglomerate Robinsons at the 365 complex appears to have hit a snag.
Sources reveal that the conglomerate had set up pre-conditions for their entry as the guarantee of adequate and efficient power supply. The complex is projected to need 25MW of power. Misgivings center on the exorbitant rates charged by INEC, reportedly the highest in Luzon, and the perceived inability of INEC to provide the energy requirements satisfactorily.
The developers, Venvi group of companies, have reportedly sought a direct connection with Napocor to provide their power requirements, of course over INEC objections.
The case has reportedly been elevated to the ERC for decision.
Time and again, the INEC is embroiled in controversy; in this case INEC seems to be the major reason why big investors are reluctant to invest in Ilocos Norte.