Vice Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates vowed on Wednesday the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will exercise “fairness” in handling the counter-complaint filed by Narra Mayor Gerandy Danao against his detractors led by Vice Mayor Crispin Lumba.

Socrates was referring to the complaint filed by Danao on the same grounds that he had been accused of by his opponent — for allowing illegal cockfighting during the term of his predecessor administration under Mayor Lucila Demaala.

“We will observe the same principles of fairness and diligent study na ating binigay sa kaso ni Vice Mayor Lumba,” Socrates said in a press conference where he sought to defend the imposition of a 60-day preventive suspension against Danao.

Socrates maintained that the provincial board would remain neutral and will only consider the presented facts and evidence when making their final decision.

“There is no room for political considerations. Kakampi natin o hindi, ganoon pa man si Mayor Danao ay hindi naman ibang tao din sa atin. Ang magiging batayan laman ng decision ay ang facts as presented to us and through eyes of our conscience and study,” he said.

Coal plant reopening

Socrates was also asked to comment on observations that Lumba may finally approve the controversial coal plant in Narra. The vice governor said he will not second guess Lumba’s action.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ni Mayor Lumba. We will just have to wait and see,” he said.

The proposed coal-fired power plant in Bato-Bato, Narra has been the subject of much controversy when an indigenous peoples’ group and the No to Coal Movement said that its operation would have a long-term damaging effect on the local environment.

Danao refused to issue a permit to operate to DMCI Powers, Inc. last year and vowed to do more consultations with Narra locals on the matter. Vice mayor Lumba, however, has been on the other side of the spectrum.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.