Friday, September 01, 2006

Who will pay the fines?

LOCAL legislators met behind closed doors late Tuesday afternoon to discuss if the payment of fines imposed on them by Judge Anita Lucagbo would come from their own pockets or from city hall’s coffers, sources said.

Insiders said some councilors were insisting that it was city hall’s duty to pay because the case was a result of their official functions.

For indirect contempt, Mayor Vicente Emano, Spiers, councilors, contractor Yian Ping of UKC Builders and their lawyers, were fined. The fines range from P20 thousand to P30 thouand each.

The local legislators immediately met at the office of Vice Mayor Michelle Spiers right after the council session.

Councilor Maryanne Enteria said the officials failed to meet with Emano as scheduled because the mayor was resting.

Enteria said the officials cited for indirect contempt cannot do anything but pay the fine although an appeal would likely be made.

"Ingon ana man gyud na ang kaso. Kung pabayron mobayad kita," said Enteria, herself a lawyer.

Enteria said cut short the interview, saying she opted not to say more about the case. She said
she was leaving matters in the hands of Cabanlas and another lawyer, Damian Mart Maandig.

Councilor Juan Sia agreed with Enteria. He said Lucagbo’s order was ‘‘fair enough.’’

"We have to respect the court’s order," Sia said.

Other councilors like Edgar Cabanlas, Jose Benjamin Benaldo and Caesar Ian Acenas said they were willing to be sent to prison by Lucagbo.

"Willing kami nga magpa-priso kung iyang gi-order. Andam kami niana nga panghitabo," said Cabanlas.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya declined to comment. "I will reply at the proper time."

His father-in-law, Councilor Reynaldo Advincula, said local officials agreed to bring their case before the Court of Appeals.

Cabanlas said he and the other officials would file appeal their case before the appellate court next week.

"We’re still working on it," Cabanlas said.

The Mindanao Gold Star Daily

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