Moreno allies: Recall petition untimely

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

THE recall petition seeking the ouster of Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno being initiated by political adversaries is not only premature but also counter-productive, said Moreno’s allies in the City Council.

Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. said the people are not really receptive of the recall petition, although he added that he has no objection to this move since it is the right of the people to do so as embodied in the Local Government Code and in the 1987 Constitution.

But Lao said the petition might not be timely.


“It’s still premature to discuss about it at this time,” he added.

“My challenge is for them to unite with us and focus our energy and mind in contributing to the progress of the city,” Lao said.

Reports said the group behind the signature campaign is supported by a former politician in the city who lost in last year’s local elections.

No need for recall

Councilor Lourdes Candy Darimbang said no one can question the people who are spearheading the recall initiative as it is the prerogative of every citizen.

But Darimbang said there is really no need for a recall movement because the Moreno administration is already halfway on its term.

Recall, as defined in an article published in the National Council of State Legislatures website, is a procedure that allows citizens to remove and replace a public official before the end of a term of office.

Recall differs from another method for removing officials from office – impeachment – which is a political device while impeachment is a legal process, the article added.

For the recall petition to prosper, the petitioner would need around 40,000 signatures of the city’s more than 300,000 registered voters.

The petitioners alleged that the reason for the recall is Moreno's failure to fulfill his mandate and for initiating projects without going through proper procedure such as bidding.


For councilor Roger Abaday, the recall process is very tedious as it requires money and effort on the part of the petitioner.

But Abaday is confident that it will not push through.

“The people are intelligent, kabalo man sila timbang-timbang kung tinuod ba ‘na,” Abaday said.

He also hopes that the barangay officials who are reportedly doing the rounds in obtaining the needed signatures will be honest with their constituents.

But Abaday said it would not be fair to Moreno to oust him just as he is in the middle to introducing reforms to the city.

“Wala pa gani mag-tuig, unya sa kinse anyos naka-agwanta sila. Nakita nila nga the city mayor is striving hard,” Abaday said.

“If the incumbent mayor adunay kalapasan [has violations], then they should go to the court. [They should not] involve the people,” he added.

Councilor Zaldy Ocon said that the recall move will not affect the Moreno's performance.

“No matter what they do, the mayor is just doing his job and undertaking various projects,” Ocon said.

“My advice to the people is for them to pursue what they believe is the right thing to do, but they should see what the mayor has so far done to the city,” he added.

Not affected

In his recent message, Moreno said he is not affected by the recall petition.

“Let the people of Cagayan de Oro express their sovereign will,” he said.
Moreno said that in spite the fact that the majority members of the city council disapprove some of his plans for the city, he would still pursue them as mandated of him by the electorates.

“Grabe ilang babag diha sa City Council, tanan klase nga paglisod-lisod kanako they have been doing. Bisan Philhealth ipihig nila ang katawhan tungod kay gusto nila nga dili ako maka-serbisyo sa katawhan,” he said.

“I just want to serve the people of Cagayan de Oro. I will not be mayor forever, but I want to do one thing, to demonstrate to the Kagay-anons that yes we can provide these services the best way possible and we can make Cagayan de Oro the prime city of northern Mindanao and Mindanao,” Moreno added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 10, 2014.

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