TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Vice Governor Melvin “Boy” Vargas Jr announced during session on Wednesday, February 21, that he will file a case against Governor Manuel Mamba.
“Pinapalabas niya na ang Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) ang laging may kasalanan. Now I have decided to file cases against him to let the people know na siya ang may kasalanan sa lahat ng nangyayari,” Vargas said.
“While we are discussing the actions of the SP now well into the proposed 2018 budget and even the recently approved 2017 budget, the chief executive keeps on filing cases against a chosen number of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and even vocally airs through media his discontent sa ibang mga miyembro ng [SP],” he added.
Although not mentioning yet a specific case, Vargas gave some hints to the media which include Mamba’s non-compliance to the deadline of submission of a local budget as mandated by the Local Government Code.
“Late submission po ng ating AIP at executive budget wala pong excuse yan. They should pass before October 16. So ihanda na lang po niya kung ano po ang rason niya kung bakit po siya late na nagsubmit because it was just submitted and documents will show that it was submitted just at October 19 of last year,” Vargas said.
The vice governor also told the media that he will still consult with his lawyers. He said Mamba “must answer” to his allegations.
Vargas’ announcement also came a day after Governor Mamba filed an administrative case to the Office of the President against Vargas and all SP members excluding allies Rodrigo De Asis and Rosauro Resuello, for “failing” to approve the 2017 budget on time, which resulted to the “loss” of P328 million road concreting project funds.
The SP maintained that Mamba was to blame following his reported realignment of funds from Baggao and Lal-lo towns to his hometown of Tuao and neighbor-town Santo Nino. (READ: Gov. Mamba caused lost of P328M road projects, says Cagayan board member)
Not yet submitted
Meanwhile, SP on Wednesday was unable to further discussions on the updated 2018-2022 medium-term plan and 2018 budget of Cagayan as the Provincial Development Council en banc has yet to submit their “corrected” Provincial Development Investment Program (PDIP).
In the previous session, the board remanded the updated PDIP, citing several “irregularities” and “discrepancies.” The board has given 10 working days or until March 1 for the PDC en banc to “refine” the PDIP.
“The burden therefore is up to them considering that if they will not comply with the suggestions and observations in the resolution and they will not take action within that 10-day period, or forward their response, then we will be on a quandary and ultimately our constituents will be compromised,” Vargas said in a media interview after session.
Vargas reiterated that the SP cannot alter the PDIP and only the PDC en banc can legally do so. The PDIP, oversight agencies earlier said, is the basis for the annual plan and budget, and must be tackled first by the SP.
“Ang importante po sa amin, whether there’s a case or not, we are waiting for the 10-day grace period that we gave. If they want to fast-track, we want to fast track this budget, they must comply with the observations and recommendations of the sangguniang panlalawigan,” he said.
“No more talking. Do their jobs. Instead of wasting their time, they should focus,” he added.
The Forum is still reaching for Governor Mamba on the status of the remanded PDIP. Northernforum.net