Vol. XX No. 99

December 6, 2000

Virac, Catanduanes


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Major Developments

Lengthy legal battle seen

SP faction okays prov'l infrastructure projects

Frustrated by the Verceles-identified legislators' failure to attend sessions, a faction of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan allied with Gov. Hector S. Sanchez has approved the 2000 Annual Investment Plan as well as 1999 infrastructure projects already bidded.

Stating that they constituted a quorum, SP members Edwin T. Tanael, Rafael Zuniega, Edgar Tapel, Fredeswindo A. Gianan Jr., SKPF president Remelito Cabrera and Liga ng mga Barangay president Magin P. Isuela met last Nov. 27 to formally approve 24 projects worth over P9-million bidded in 1999.

The session authorized Gov. Sanchez to enter into contracts with the winning bidders and also okayed the 2000 AIP which has been pending before the provincial board for eight months now. The AIP includes P30-million in badly-needed funds for vital infrastructure projects in all 11 municipalities.

The group likewise approved the augmentation of P111,000 for the salaries and wages of provincial casuals, who have not received a cent of their wages for the last six months.

In a telephone interview, PBM Tanael, who was named temporary presiding officer, said the regular session was attended by Philippine Councilors League (PCL) provincial president Rosie P. Olarte, who allegedly wanted the session adjourned for lack of quorum. PBM Olarte reportedly refused to recognize Cabrera and Isuela as sitting members of the board, which went on with their afternoon continuation without Olarte.

Tanael claimed that they have a quorum as six of 11 PBMs are present, with the 12th PBM, Lilia Evangelista, on official leave and thus not considered in the counting of necessary membership while presiding officer Vice Gov. Alfred M. Aquino was absent.

He said they are willing to face any legal challenge to their will to hold sessions and approve vital measures which have languished as a result of the bickerings and power play between the governor and Rep. Leandro B. Verceles, Jr.

In a related development, Lakas party officials here have pushed for the recall of the presidential appointment given to PBM Fredeswindo A. Gianan, Jr. as replacement of his namesake father who died last May.

National Lakas party officials have reportedly asked Pres. Joseph Estrada to revoke Gianan's appointment, claiming that he has never been a member of the party. Recommended to take Gianan's place in the board is former San Andres Mayor Lydia T. Romano. Romano's husband, Mayor Antonio Romano, was a close friend and high school classmate of PBM Fred T. Gianan, Sr.

PBM Fred A. Gianan, Jr. has refused to comment on the Lakas move, saying he would just wait for Malacanang's action on the issue. 


Copyright 2000 The Catanduanes Tribune