CAGAYAN Journal (Ben Balce/June 10) Last week, Ocon ripped the vice mayor’s “excuse letter” after calling the latter’s continued absences “insult” and “deceit” to the taxpaying public. It was the third time for him to tear into pieces the vice mayor's "excuse letter."
Emano’s party mates in the majority block have consistently defended his absences, saying this was not major issue because the vice mayor is doing other tasks that bear more impact on the local government, like talking to potential investors visiting the city.
Also, they argued that the delegation of presiding officer’s responsibilities is allowed by the council’s own House Rules.
“That our vice mayor can choose not to appear here and delegate the task of presiding the session to other members by rotating this responsibility among us in not his fault,”
Councilor Simeon Licayan said last week.
“We crafted and approved our own House Rules, and these rules bear our vice mayor out from all these questions hounding his nonappearance here,” he said.
Even if Emano were to preside the weekly sessions, Licayan said this would be “awkward” both for Emano and for the City Council members because “his presence is more needed in other grand functions, not mingling here with us.”
“Pang-presidente gud na atong bise mayor (Our vice mayor has a stature of a president,” Licayan added.
Emano had earlier said that presiding or even attending regular council sessions was not his cup of tea as he dislikes “debates” that are common in legislative sessions.
Despite his nonappearance in sessions, the vice mayor continues to receive salary. Vice mayors in highly urbanized cities are entitled to salary grade of 28, equivalent to over P24,000 a month.