Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan again failed to respond to a resolution requesting him to appear before the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod to answer questions on matters of interest to the city.
The resolution proposed by Councilor Archie Baribar said it has been observed that several times, the City Legal Officer failed to appear in pre-trial cases where the city is a party-defendant and would send lawyer-subordinates of the CLO, without the necessary authority to enter into pre-trial conference, causing delay due through resetting of the cases.
It also said that, in most instances, Bayatan appears in court cases in his personal capacity, to the detriment of the interest of the city that he is supposed to serve with utmost dedication.
The resolution said Bayatan also failed to appear during public and committee hearings called by the SP and instead sends a clerk of the CLO to attend them.
Despite various resolutions addressed to him, Bayatan has failed to submit an update on the cases to the SP where the city is a party as plaintiff or defendant, it also said.
Bayatan, meanwhile, said the resolution concerns executive functions. The management, control or handling of affairs involving the office of the executive is the prerogative of the head of that office, he said.
Bayatan said he is responsible and accountable only to the mayor, and the resolution appears to encroach on the exclusive domain of the executive branch, he said.
Whatever may be the opinion or perception of the author of the resolution or any member of the legislative branch, is a matter of concern of the administrative management of the executive branch of the city government, he added.
Bayatan pointed out that the resolution even appears to bypass the authority of the mayor because it was directly addressed to the City Legal Office that falls under the control and supervision of the Office of the City Mayor.*CGS