The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution Wednesday requesting the Commission on Elections en banc to expedite the resolution of the motion for reconsideration filed by the Barangay Paglaum convenors group.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairperson of the Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, and author of the Barangay Paglaum Ordinance, sponsored the resolution to address the request of the convenors group headed by Gemeno Ymballa.
Ymballa appeared before the SP session Wednesday asking the City Council what to do as the scheduled date of the plebiscite had already lapsed and they had filed a motion for reconsideration with the COMELEC en banc.
Ymballa had earlier furnished the SP with two letters, one asking for a budget for the conduct of the plebiscite and the other asking for the rescheduling of the plebiscite date.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, who was invited by the SP to answer legal questions on the issue, said the decision of the COMELEC should be upheld and let it decide first since it has the constitutional mandate.
As for the budget, Bayatan said there should be a solid basis and that an ordinance had already provided the amount for it with a clear purpose for its use, as this is a statutory obligation of the city.
What should be done first is identify the period of the plebiscite, he said, adding that the local COMELEC has no authority to set its date.
Councilor Dindo Ramos said that if the COMELEC Office cannot perform or conduct the plebiscite, it should deputize the Liga ng mga Barangay to conduct one.
Distrito said the motion for reconsideration and the manifestation filed by the convenors group before the COMELEC en banc has to be acted upon first before the SP can act on their request, and that is why a resolution requesting the Commission to fast-track the resolution on the motion for reconsideration was made.
He said he had already informed the convenors group of Paglaum that if the date of the plebiscite is not realized, they will amend the ordinance and set another date for it.
Distrito added that the Mayor has assured the convenors group of Barangay Paglaum that a budget will be set aside by the city when a definite date for the plebiscite has been set.*CGS