By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
With regard to the ongoing matter surrounding Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s call to move the city’s Charter Day from October 19 to June 18, Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. recently referred to proponents of the initiative as eisegeting, which refers to imposing one’s personal interpretation of the law rather than taking a critical approach.
He said those supporting the move “erroneously, intentionally, and maliciously disregarded” portions of Commonwealth Act 326, or the The Charter of Bacolod as a City, which was approved on June 18, 1938. He reiterated a portion of the policy, quoting, “The city government provided for in this charter shall be organized immediately after the appointment and qualification of the city mayor, and the appointment and induction into office of the members of the city council.”
The city council added, based on archives from the Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod, a resolution dated September 28, 1938 showed the “Municipality of Bacolod” ceased to exist only after the appointment, qualification, and installation of city officials.
Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. was appointed, installed, and inaugurated as mayor on October 19, 1938.
Gamboa also offered a rebuttal to the mayor’s argument, where the latter earlier cited RA 170, which marked the creation of the City of Dagupan, where a Supreme Court decision argued, “The City of Dagupan created by said act came into existence as a legal entity or a public corporation upon approval of Act. No. 170, on June 20, 1947.”
He called position “erroneous” and “out of context.”
According to the city councilor, “[The case] questioned the appointment of the officials by the president of the republic at that time, when the City of Dagupan was already established with all the elements of the city’s corporate existence.”
“Citing one line from the entirety of Mejia versus Balolong is off-tangent and out of context,” Gamboa explained. “The erroneous extraction of a portion of [the] said decision therefore is [using] one’s biased interpretation – which is pure eisegesis.”/JSG, WDJ