Seares: The word that Councilor Alcover’s resolution misspelled. No queen or king in Cebu City Council. NBI’s ‘command case.’

·4 min read

COUNCILOR PESQUERA’S CORRECTION. Cebu City Councilor Jun Alcover misspelled a word in his resolution. And Majority Floorleader Joy Pesquera corrected it during the Sanggunian session Wednesday, August 27. For all the people watching the live-streamed proceedings to hear as well.

Kons Joy didn’t specify the word, which must have sent curiosity-seekers scrambling to find out what it was. I did find out.

It was “gemfowl,” which was still not included in word lists, the first and last time I checked. The word in dictionaries is “game-fowl,” which must be Kons Alcover’s intended word since his resolution seeks to ban entry of captive birds from other parts of the country into Cebu City. He’d like, he said, the city mayor to adopt the policy of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.

City Hall watchers may retrace the route the resolution took and yet eluded detection: 1) Alcover’s staff, 2) Alcover himself, 3) copy reviewer or editor at the Secretariat; 4) committee on style (with committee on laws) and 5) Alcover again, when he read the resolution for approval.

CRASH COURSE ON PARLIAMENT RULES. There were shouting matches. A councilor screamed at the presiding officer, “You’re not the queen here!” Things went so bad in that July 12 session that the vice mayor agreed that she and all the councilors undergo a seminar on parliamentary procedure.

That happened in the Cagayan de Oro City Council, whose presiding officer, Vice Mayor Jocelyn Rodriguez, was accused of behaving like a despotic queen.

No way that will be duplicated at the 16th Cebu City Sanggunian, where the chief, Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, a whiz of a parliamentarian, is firm and focused yet tactful and mindful over each councilor’s rights. VM Raymond apparently read, and follows, the Supreme Court definition of the presiding officer: neither partisan (except to vote in case of a tie) nor tyrannical (except to speed up business so as to adjourn before 5 p.m.).

No queen, or king, at the Cebu City Council. As Minority Flooleader Nestor Archival Sr. would say in moments of pique, “Pareha baya tang nagbarong (o ‘nag-amerikana’) diri,” depending on the session day’s fashion.

AUTHORITY TO RECOGNIZE SPEAKERS. The source of conflict in the Cagayan de Oro City Council was mainly the alleged abuse by the presiding officer in not recognizing councilors she didn’t like.

The councilor who speaks or takes the floor must first get the approval of the presiding officer (“the chair”). The “chair” is supposed to be fair and give equal time to each side of a question. He – or in Cagayan de Oro’s case, she – may not be aware of the role of the presiding officer.

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TORNI FRANK’S THE BOSS. I missed Atty. Frank’s and Dr. Alma’s 44th wedding anniversary celebration at Casino Español last Sunday, July 24. I also missed the chance of finally figuring out what he meant when he said at his birthday party years earlier. He said then, something like: “In the Malilong house, I’m the boss. Dr. Alma is just the decision-maker.”

LL (for lovely and lovable) journalist Michelle P. So once said she knows the secret of success in the Frank-Alma union. Whenever Torni Frank thinks his wife is wrong, he taps himself on the forehead, mumbling, ”The wife is always

right.”

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‘COMMAND CASE,’ EXECUTIVE SESSION. “Command case” is the term the NBI uses for a case that “everybody in the office is working hard on.” That should comfort those who’ve been waiting for results of the investigation on the almost P400 million garbage disposal services the two firms Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply had supplied the City Government.

As early as Sunday, July 24, City Hall PIO. Cerwin T. Eviota told me Mayor Rama would ask NBI for a report on NBI’s status of its investigation (supposed to have been started last year yet) and a report from the Department of Public Services on how garbage has been collected without Docast and JJ & J.

The City Council also decided to call Docast officials to an executive session and examine all the jobs it has been doing for the City, which include a road project that has been reportedly delayed.

If the garbage mess is being treated as “a command case,” three questions: (1) why has the investigation taken the NBI almost a year already, starting from the date of request; (2) why is it asking for documents from City Hall only now or, if it asked a long time ago yet, why the delay; and (3) if all hands at NBI are working on the Docast case, what happens to its other cases?

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