The City Council, or Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP), is a local legislative body expected to craft laws to benefit their constituents. They are imbued with public interest as their actions can help develop their citizenry.
As Bacolod City vice mayor, El Cid Familiaran is in charge of controlling and supervising the decorum of these elected city officials. In addition, as majority floor leader, City Councilor Caesar Distrito plays a significant role with regard to SP proceedings.
Leadership exhibited by Familiaran is important in ensuring smooth deliberations. His role requires ensuring the body maintains proper parliamentary procedure. He should be aware of what to expect and how to resolve differences.
The recent incident between City Councilors Claudio Jesus ‘Kalaw’ Puentevella and Dindo Ramos may have been an isolated case, but it is nonetheless unfortunate. While I am not privy to what transpired prior to the punching incident, perhaps things were beyond their control.
It is undeniable that politics is a part of our democracy and whoever sits in City Hall is likely to have a good number of allies in the SP. While the majority is expected to rule the legislative agenda, there is also an expected minority voice whose rights deserve protecting. It is the job of the presiding officer to remain impartial.
In the past, the SP has seen stately individuals who disregard party affiliation for the sake of public interest – those men and women exercise the utmost diligence and dedication to service. Public officials must all bear a similar belief. As the late US President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Hopefully, this incident will be settled as soon as possible.
Deepest condolences to the Fajardo Family after the passing of the great man of Panay News./WDJ