New Malaybalay councilor pushes for transparency

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 June) – After securing the number 1 seat in Malaybalay’s 10-member city council in the May 10 elections, lawyer Jay Warren Pabillaran is working for more transparency in the local government.

The 31-year-old first time councilor said he is set to push for more transparency in the city government as he promised in his campaign.

Pabillaran, who comes from a prominent family whose roots come from Malaybalay’s indigenous peoples, is one of four lawyers in the new city council.

He vows to work for live coverage of the city council session held every Tuesday morning.

“This is for transparency so that the people can monitor what their city councilors are discussing in session,” he added.

Malaybalay’s city council has been reported to have called-off sessions due to lack of quorum and tardiness among councilors. In some cases, some members invoked holding “executive sessions” to discuss sensitive matters, including deliberation on the controversial P225-million public market.

Pabillaran said he is prepared to face resistance from other councilors and be grilled about his proposal.

Seven of the 10 new city councilors are first-timers.

Roland Deticio, though new in the city council, had served as provincial board member from the 2nd district on three terms. Lawyer Mya Rosos is formerly a barangay councilor in Casisang village.

George Damasco lost in the vice mayoralty race in 2004 and also when he ran as city council in 2007. Other first-timers are Lorenzo Dinlayan Jr., Anthony Barroso and businesswoman Perla Rubio.

Three members of the old city council — Bob Roberto Casanova, Mechor Maramara and Fernando Melendez — have won reelection.

Pabillaran will have the support of incoming city councilor Roland Deticio, especially on the live coverage of the city council’s regular session. Deticio said it will be a platform to present to the public who among the councilors are working.

Pabillaran said aside from transparency in governance, he will also work for community-based enterprise development, scholarship programs for indigenous peoples and sustainable agriculture.

Outgoing vice mayor Ignacio Zubiri will assume the post as mayor, replacing Florencio T. Flores Jr., who was elected as congressional representative for the second district. Incumbent Councilor Victor Aldeguer will be the city’s next vice mayor, who will preside over the city council. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)