Temporary vacancy

WHOEVER concerned at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) better be in a hurry to resolve the temporary vacancy that occurs following the indefinite leave of absence of ailing Malabon City Mayor Canuto “Tito” Oreta.

For Oreta’s nephew, Vice Mayor Antolin “LenLen” Oreta, there appears no problem as the powers and functions of his uncle being the city’s highest elected government official had been smoothly transferred to him, thereby ensuring unhampered delivery of basic services to the residents.

But wait, it’s quite a different story for Councilor Diosdado “Dado” Cunanan.

With a mere opinion from DILG’s legal service, Cunanan, being the highest ranking member of the city council after garnering the biggest votes in 2010 local polls, hurriedly assumed the post vacated by the younger Oreta by himself sans order or any authorization from the concerned agency or official from the national government.

For acting Mayor Lenlen, he, too, likes the smooth transition of functions of the vice mayor to the qualified elected official who turns to be Cunanan.

Nonetheless, legal processes should be observed otherwise cha-os at the city hall wouldn’t be far-fetched and of course the acting city chief executive would surely not want to exploit such thing especially so when it’s done at the expense of the city folks that only rely on the local government’s services.

Again, the younger Oreta clarifies that he has no intention to block the assumption of Cunanan to the post he vacated saying there is a need for check and balance in the city but only after the local legal office obtains a guideline from the DILG.

The son of ex-Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta and President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s cousin says: “As of now, I cannot recognize him as the acting vice mayor because in the first place I have not yet received anything from the DILG for the purpose.”

He adds: “The law is vague on the matter. We are looking for guideline as

On one hand, the councilor had in his possession a two-page copy of an opinion signed by Director III Jesus Doque IV which agreed on him to take over and perform the functions and duties of the vice mayor.

“No order or authorization from the Department is necessary to make such assumption effective,” the same DILG legal service’s opinion says.

In case, Cunanan would eventually take over the seat, he, however, couldn’t automatically assume the position as council’s presiding officer.

According to the Local Government Code, the majority of those present members there being a quorum shall elect from among themselves the temporary presiding officer for that session.

Last month, police filed charges of attempted murder, slight physical injuries and grave threats against Cunanan, his two sons and two others after they figured in a shooting incident involving four young men and a female minor.

There you go.

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