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Minority's move to create 3rd District junked by majority

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The majority councilors yesterday overwhelmingly junked a proposal from the minority to request the two Representatives of the city to re-file in Congress the bill creating the third legislative district for Zamboanga City.

Councilor Mel Sadain, one of the four proponents of the edict during yesterday’s regular session, said having an additional congressional district is very much beneficial to Zamboanga City because the city will have more representation in the House of Representatives, additional funding of P120 million and more officials to serve the people.

Sadain said the population of the city has reached 754,000 and under the constitution, the city is entitled to have three districts basing on 250,000 population per district.

Councilors Rommel Agan, Cesar Jimenez Jr., Rudy Bayot and Sadain have proposed a resolution urging District 1 Congresswoman Isabelle Climaco and District 2 Congressman Erbie Fabian to jointly file the necessary bill in Congress and work together for the enactment of the law reapportioning the composition of the first and second legislative districts and thereby create the third legislative district from such reappointment.

Agan said majority of the councilors last week have approved a resolution calling the Supreme Court to stop the conversion of the 16 municipalities into cities for reason that the conversion will affect the Internal Revenue Allotment of the city, ”Now this is the solution, having another district will increase the pork barrel of the city and more projects.”

He said majority of the aldermen voted to approve the resolution calling the high court to stop the conversion of the municipalities without even reading and studying what they were voting upon. “Now a very simple resolution only calling our congressmen to file a bill in Congress for the creation of a third district, you cannot comprehend?”

Agan added that congressmen of other cities and provinces have filed their respective bills in Congress proposing the creation of more districts because of the foresight that having additional district is always beneficial.

Jimenez for his part, reminded the august body that even Climaco is very much in favor of having an additional district when she even passed the bill in the last Congress for the creation of the third district.

The councilor said representatives of Ilo-Ilo, Maguindanao, and Bacolod have already filed their respective bills for additional districts and is now with the Senate for deliberations.

Aldermen from the majority like Councilor Abdurahman Nuno has vehemently objected to the proposed resolution saying he has been to many barangays and many of the residents are truly opposed to creating a third district.

It will be recalled, the last council had approved on February 5, 2010 a resolution calling for the creation of a third congressional district in Zamboanga City.

“I supported the passage of that resolution but when I consulted with my constituents, apparently they are not keen in supporting the creation of another district because they believe our two congressmen are already doing a good job in their respective districts and many people have benefited from their services,” Nuno explained.

Meanwhile, as if adding insult to injury, Councilor Jaime Cabato authored another resolution quashing the resolution passed by the last council supporting the creation of the 3rd district. Fourteen councilors belonging to the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) of Mayor Celso Lobregat supported to recall the resolution while Sadain, Jimenez, Bayot and Agan objected.

In an unprecedented turn of events, Councilor Rey Candido authored yet another resolution, calling on Climaco and Fabian to seriously make an in-depth study before re-filing a bill in Congress creating the third district in the city. Upon presentation of the Candido resolution, the minority councilors were surprised since the resolution was very similar to what the minority filed but was killed by the majoriy. Candido's resolution was laid on the table and due for debate and more discussions in the next session.

By Nonong Santiago        




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