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Mindanao vice mayor incurs 99 absences out of 100 council sessions

The banner story of a Mindanao regional newspaper yesterday, July 1, 2009, may have been surprising for many (shocking even) but for a Mindanao journalist like me who has been working around politicians for quite a while, it was really nothing new. The same thing, although probably not as “worse,” has been happening not only in the local city councils but also even down to barangay councils and even in the Senate and Congress.


According to Mindanao Gold Star Daily, Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Vicente Emano has reportedly incurred 99 absences out of 100 council sessions. That means Emano has presided only ONCE since assuming office. Emano reportedly only attended the inauguration of the present Cagayan de Oro City council and that was it.

And as if to really add “more color” to an already controversial issue, Emano’s arch-rival at the council, Councilor Zaldy Ocon, a former radio broadcaster, tore to shreds Emano’s “excuse letter” addressed to the council, which reportedly claimed that the vice mayor was on official business…which then led to Councilor Alfonso Goking calling on his fellow legislators to “punish” Ocon for tearing up a copy of Emano’s letter which is considered an official document.

As expected, Ocon stood firm. He even challenged his fellow councilors to sanction him if they think what he did was wrong. The former broadcaster, known for his tirades against Emano and usually hit by critics for “grandstanding,” said that the council was free to exercise disciplinary actions against him if he really was at fault. Fortunately for Ocon, he found a “kakampi” in Councilor Teodulfo Lao, who thought that the shredding of the excuse letter was a mereĀ  “freedom of expression” and that it was based on “the essence of democracy.”

IMO, Ocon has the right to get mad. After all, the tax-paying public does expect that the “public servants” they entrusted their votes with should do their jobs, yes? And that includes regularly attending sessions, meetings etc. Ocon knows that Emano’s absences can be a good reason to stir up controversy, to show to the public that he has been right all along in criticizing Emano and his brand of politics. Ocon knows that Emano’s absences can be a good controversy to bank on — he can raise valid points during council sessions, question Emano’s so-called “on official business” excuses and can even get away calling the city vice mayor as “mangingilad” (deceiver) during the session proper.

Unfortunately for Ocon, he also knows very well that he’s virtually alone in his quest – with most of his fellow legislators on Emano’s side. And because of political alignments and politicians defending partymates, the root problem has yet to be addressed.

It’s a David versus Goliath war, really. And the only ones at the losing end is the public.

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  • Go Mayor!

    His absences only mean that He is not fit to be the Mayor of CDO… his a hippocrate… Saying BUBBLE WORDS to every individual in CDO… Hope that people in CDO will be awaken of these facts that Mayor emano… is not a good leader…

  • mr emano proudly exalts himself always letting cagayanons believe they are still okay in his administration. ever since he took position in the province and city all he talks were merely words from the mouth sugarly coated to appear its alright.

    that would never happen here in bohol nor even here in manila nor here in cebu or everywhere here where public officials take oath in office to serve and render service to the people.

    he is a square peg on a round hole.

    to mr emano, maulaw naka oi. stop na ana. dugay nakong nigawas diha sa cagayan kay walay asenso ang syudad. walay trabaho nga kasudlan maski na graduwado ako ug usa na ka inhiner. lisod kau mr emano kung sigi lang kag paburot sa tiyan nga wala gyuy serbisyo o singot man lang nga motulo sa imo agtang. unsa nalay among ipakaon sa among pamilya diha? ikaw buhi?

    stop na ha? insakto na ang ulaw, dili mi proud gyud nimo sukad pa. imo rang mga baba ug imong mga binayran maoy proud nimo.

    palihug please, ipalambo na ang cagayan. ayaw na sigeg pagarpar diha.

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