NEWS: Referendum in Nabunturan sought; Bond float oppositors take people’s initiative route


Cha Monforte

Oppositors to the P90-million bond flotation in the Nabunturan, Compostela Valley have immediately shifted to their Plan B, that is to launch a people’s initiative leading to a referendum to decide whether to proceed or not with the controversial bond float following Wednesday’s confirmation of the provincial board on the municipal resolution approving it.

“It’s not over yet,” said Antonio Mencidor, spokesman of the oppositors to the P90-million bond flotation being pushed by Mayor Macario Humol.

Mencidor bared that they have just prepared a petition for people’s initiative projecting an eventual confirmation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

He bared that oppositors are starting to gather signatures of at least 100 registered voters as required under the provisions on local initiative of the local government code.

He said that they wanted the people of Nabunturan to decide in a referendum whether or not they want the bond float to proceed.

In last Wednesday’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan session attended by 11 boardmembers, 6 “yes” votes over the 4 “no” votes were cast on nominal voting, thus confirming Municipal Resolution No. 10-2008 which approved the feasibility study for the 10-year bond flotation that would fund for the construction of a new public market building in town.

In a gallery largely filled by an anti-bond flotation crowd, acting presiding officer Boardmember Maria Carmen Zamora-Apsay had to admonish for several times the lobbying oppositors who cheered for the opposing Boardmember Dexter Lopoz, a lawyer, who locked horns with the proponent Boardmember Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, also a lawyer, in a two-hour debate and interpellation during the privilege hour that sliced up the supposed calendared agenda of the session.

Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya was not presiding as he was on official business in Manila.

Voting “yes” were Boardmembers Gonzaga, Cesar Richa, Moran Takasan, Rogelio Arambala, all of the District 2, PCL Representative Joselien Romano and Paul Galicia, both of District 1.

Voting “no” were Boardmembers Lopoz, Neri Barte, Armando Codilla, all of District 1, and Boardmember Ruben Flores of District 2.

Flores, a former Nabunturan mayor, and allied with the original Lakas majority, made a surprise when he voted in negative. He was later on congratulated by the anti-flotation crowd in the gallery.

“Nabunturan voters will be marking off the District 2 boardmembers who voted yes to the detriment of the people,” one of the lobbying market vendors was quoted as saying after the SP confirmed the resolution. Referred to were Gonzaga, Richa, Takasan and Arambala.

The oppositors have been charging that the bond flotation is so expensive with exorbitant charges and fees that are “grossly disadvantageous to the government”.

Also, market vendors have been apprehensive they could be displaced in the planned new market building where high monthly rentals are pegged in the feasibility study as a minimum of 10 square-meter stall could readily fetch a P10,500 monthly rental. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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