CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/19 January) — For acknowledging and then vetoing portions of the “Babiera” (Vice Gov. Norris Babiera) version of the P1.38-billion 2011Misamis Oriental budget ordinance, Gov. Oscar S. Moreno risks facing criminal and administrative charges which the majority in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has threatened to file against him.
In a strongly worded letter to Moreno after he vetoed 19 items in the 2011 budget, the 10-man SP majority countered that the governor’s act was illegal.
A source in PaDayon who asked not to be quoted as he is not authorized to speak on the matter told MindaNews they may file several cases [against Moreno] and that they may ask for his preventive suspension so that while the cases are ongoing the governor may dispense with the budget as he wishes.
Ten of the 14-member SP are allied with the local political group PaDayon headed by Moreno’s erstwhile ally and now political archenemy, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano.
The SP needs at least 10 votes to override Moreno’s veto.
But members of the majority have recently become elusive. They boycotted the regular session last January 11, forcing Babiera, a Moreno ally, to call off the session for lack of quorum.
Among those vetoed by Moreno were items supposedly inserted by members of the SP that would enable them to enjoy about P120,000.00 of additional monthly perks in the form of increases in gasoline and travel allowances, consultancy and the hiring of 10 casual employees for each of them.
Babiera said Moreno’s veto is valid as the 10-member SP majority “had placed too much power in the provincial legislature which is a co-equal body to the executive branch headed by the Governor.”
Moreno said he is likewise unfazed by the threat to override the veto saying “even if they have 100 percent in the SP, what they have done is illegal and I am issuing this veto to remind them that we are still under the rule of law and not of men.”
Moreno also did not hide his displeasure towards Emano whom he blamed as the man behind the “demolition job” against him. “Their intention in cutting the budget of the office of the governor in the 2011 budget is to paralyze me, nothing else. And it is Dongkoy (Emano) who commanded his partymates in the SP to do it.”
Emano and his son, Misamis Oriental 1st District Congressman Bambi Emano, were not available for comment when sought by MindaNews.
Asked if he will run against Emano for mayor, Moreno said, “I do not have any plans, but I think Cagayan de Oro will have a new beginning in 2013.”
Emano was governor of Misamis Oriental from 1986 to 1998. He won as mayor of Cagayan de Oro for three terms, from 1998 to 2007. He was vice mayor from 2007 to 2010 and won again the mayoralty last year.
Moreno on the other hand is on his last term as governor. He was three-term congressman of the 1st district of Misamis Oriental, from 1995 to 2004.
Both Moreno and Emano came from the PDP-Laban of former senator and former city mayor Aquilino Pimentel Jr. In the last election, Emano supported Erap Estrada while Moreno stuck it out with Lakas bet Gilbert Teodoro. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)