Former Laoag City Councilor Jose “Pepoc” Pastor has been officially designated as City Hall’s new legal officer after the Sangguniang Panlungsod concurred with his appointment during their session on August 31.
Pastor immediately buckled down to work and was warmly welcomed by City Hall’s different department heads on his first appearance on the regular staff meeting presided over by Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas on September 5.
Pastor, upon assumption of office, assured city residents that he would do his best in the betterment of Laoag.
Pastor’s appointment came at the heels of several legal controversies hounding the city government’s executive department as a result of differences between the city council.
It is deemed that with the position of legal officer filled, the city’s executive department now has someone whom they could run to for legal matters.
The legal officer has long been declared a mandatory position. However, the city government has been unable to fill the position for a long time, dating back to the term of former Laoag City Mayor Roger C. Fariñas.
Atty. Ferdinand Ignacio had applied for the position during the term of the former mayor but his appointment was not concurred with by the city council.
“Napalalo ti panag-yaman tayo ta addan kabuki-bukudan tayon nga abogado aside from the City Fiscal’s Office no kayat tayo iti mangala iti second opinion no kasapulan (We are very thankful that we now have our own legal counsel aside from those at the City Fiscal’s Office where we can get a second opinion if necessary),” Fariñas said.
Fariñas also clarified rumors that Pastor’s appointment was due to political favor. Fariñas stated that when ran for the city’s top post, Pastor, who also ran for the vice mayoralty post in the 2004 elections, was not his running mate so people should not give the appointment a political color. Fariñas’ running mate during the 2004 elections was former Laoag City Councilor Joseph Tamayo, currently the city community affairs officer.
“Kasano kuma nga adda kolor politika na daytoy ket saan nga isuna iti kapartidoak itay napalabas nga eleksiyon (How could there be political color in his appointment when he was not a party mate during the previous election)?” Fariñas stated.
The mayor also expressed his thanks to the members of the city council for unanimously approving Pastor’s appointment.
Pastor was a three-term Laoag City councilor serving his last term from 2001 to 2004. He ran for the vice mayoralty post during the last elections as an independent but lost.
Dominic B. dela Cruz