Vol. XX No. 40

December 13, 2000

Virac, Catanduanes


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Major Developments


SP's Sanchez bloc faces malverse rap

A case of technical malversation was set to be filed last Monday against six members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for allegedly approving the release of additional funds for the wages of casuals who have gone unpaid for the last six months.

PBM Edwin T. Tanael said the suit would be filed by the so-called Verceles bloc led by Vice Gov. Alfred M. Aquino, who in a privilege speech the other Monday denounced the Nov. 23 and 27 sessions held and attended by the SP faction identified with Gov. Hector S. Sanchez as being without a quorum.

Aside from approving a resolution requesting Malacanang to suspend the vice governor due to a verified complaint, the sessions also okayed vital measures which have gone unacted by the board due to the ongoing bickering. Among them are a resolution granting authority to the governor to award 25 projects under the 1999 20% Economic Development Fund and another measure approving the long-delayed 2000 Annual Investment Plan.

The malversation rap is based on the session's approving the augmentation of P111,000 in funds for the salaries and wages of provincial casuals who have gone unpaid for the last six months.

In a privilege speech last Dec. 3, Vice Gov. Aquino said the resolutions okayed by the Sanchez bloc are void ab initio for lack of quorum. He also denounced the filing of a complaint against him before Malacanang, accusing PBMs Tanael and Edgar Tapel of using the SP vehicle for personal purposes, PBM Rafael Zuniega of illegally contracting government projects, among others.

PBM Tanael described Aquino's speech as "too emotional," unsubstantiated and totally inappropriate for delivery at the provincial board. He also cited Aquino's attacks against his fellow SP members as "unethical" and that it should have been given during a Lakas rally.

He said that while Aquino's speech pointed to the alleged lack of  quorum, it did not exactly specify why the Nov. 23 and 27 sessions indeed did not reach quorum. He bared that ex-officio Magin Isuela cannot be considered suspended because he has not been served with the notice of suspension issued by the Liga ng mga Barangay board.








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