Wednesday, June 28, 2006
EMBATTLED Councilor Reynaldo Advincula yesterday challenged his critics to file charges against him and all the councilors who voted to write off the debts of the city’s public market vendors.
"Why only Ian (Nacaya)? Is it because he is my son-in-law?" Advincula asked. "It should be all of us or those who voted for the ordinance.’’
Advincula said his critics wanted to involve Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya in an attempt to establish a case of conflict of interest.
In April, Advincula and Nacaya voted in favor of Ordinance no. 10127-2006 that wiped off the debts of market vendors leasing stalls at the city hall-owned markets in 2001 and the preceding years. The debts of the Advinculas were among the debts written off.
Ex-vice mayor Antonio Soriano and former mayor Manolo Tagarda Sr. said Advincula and Nacaya, his son-in-law, could be held liable for voting for a city law that benefitted the Advinculas.
Advincula said Soriano and Tagarda should sue all the councilors who voted for the ordinance if they were convinced that the passage of the city law was illegal. He said he or Nacaya should not be singled out.
Only five other councilors voted for the ordinance. They are councilors Annie Daba, Simeon Licayan, Edgar Cabanlas, Alfonso Goking and Maryanne Enteria.
Those who abstained or failed to vote or were absent were councilors Jose Benjamin Benaldo, Zaldy Ocon, the then Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Benmarc Garcia, Ceasar Ian Acenas, Alvin Calingin and Alexander Dacer.
Advincula reiterated his call for Tagarda, who sharply criticized him, to sue him.
"Why don’t he file it before the ombudsman now? That’s his (Tagarda) right and prerogative," said Advincula. "I will not try to stop him."
Tagarda has threatened to bring Advincula before the ombudsman for doing business in a local government-owned property. He said Advincula would likely be the first city hall official to face a case before the newly opened extension office of the ombudsman in Cagayan de Oro.
"I’m not afraid to face him (Tagarda). If he is really serious, he should start drafting his complaint against me," Advincula said.
‘‘I’m only hoping that he will have a basis this time," said Advincula even as he mocked Tagarda for supposedly losing a case against him before.
Advincula said Tagarda would likely revive a dismissed case filed in regard to an attempt by a group of vendors to occupy stalls at the Cogon public market.
Advincula said Tagarda had sued him because he (Advincula) personally barred the vendors’ group from illegally establishing stalls at the city’s busiest market.
"Some of them forcibly entered and occupied market stalls. I was the one who barred them (vendors) being the city council’s economic enterprise head. They had no legal papers to occupy the stalls and it was unfair to vendors who acquired stalls legally," Advincula said.
Advincula’s son, Reynaldo Jr., is a stallholder. The councilor also admitted that his sister is doing business at Cogon market.
"He (Tagarda) already filed a case against me and the city, but it was already dismissed by the court because it had no basis,’’ said Advincula. "If they really have a basis, file the case as soon as possible. The ombudsman’s office is just a few minutes away."
Advincula also lashed at ex-vice mayor Soriano for calling Ordinance no. 10127-2006 ‘‘defective.’’
"Who is he (Soriano) to say that the ordinance is defective? Is he an authority?’’ asked Advincula , adding that Soriano was talking like a judge.
Advincula said only a court can declare the ordinance defective.