Councilor Elgin Damasco expressed his determination to resign from his post as chairman of the committee on transportation in the City Council, saying he felt insulted with the suggestions of councilor Jimbo Maristela.
Damasco said Wednesday after the public consultation on the implementation of the tricycle ban along selected routes in national highways that he will immediately draft his resignation and will suggest transferring the chairmanship to Maristela.
“Mas magaling sila, tingnan natin ang galing nila, hamon ‘yon, tanggapin nila ang offer kasi hindi sila naniniwala na may batas. Gusto pa nila na lumabag tayo sa batas, na kaya natin labagin ‘yong batas, iyan ang sinasabi nila. Magaling sila, abogado sila, kung kaya nila palakpakan natin sila,” he said.
“Si konsehal Maristela ang gusto kong pumalit. Iyan ang hamon ko sa kanya na tanggapin niya. Ang problema kasi dito ay hinahaluan ng politika, nag-gra-grandstanding kahit alam nila na may batas. [Kapag hindi niya tinanggap,] pamumulitika iyong sa kanya, tanggapin niya kung gusto nya talaga tulungan ang mga taumbayan, parehas naman kami ng ipinaglalaban,” Damasco added.
Damasco said that his decision to resign was not made out of his emotion and stated that he does not have any anger against Maristela.
But he said just because Maristela is a lawyer does not mean he is correct in everything, especially the national law implementation controversy.
“Hinahamon ko siya, with all due respect, hindi ako galit sa kanya. Okay na ako, nainsulto lang ako sa kanya dahil parang dahil abogado siya, siya lang ang may alam sa batas,” he said.
Damasco insisted that the order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) must be followed and implemented because the local government unit (LGU) must not overpower it.
Damasco was referring to the statement of Maristela that if the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will file a case against the City Council allowing tricycles in Rizal Avenue, Capitol and Adventist area at 40 kilometers per hour speed, he is sure that Puerto Princess will win the case.
“Una sa lahat, tayo ang gagawa ng ordinansa. Kung gusto natin padaanin ang tricycle sa national highway na hindi lalagpas sa 40 kilometers per hour katulad ng Rizal avenue, Capitol at Adventist, tingin ko ay walang problema, wala akong nakikitang problema,” Maristela said.
“Kahit ikakaso ito ng DOTR, ipapawalang bisa ang ordinansa, mananalo tayo sa korte, ‘yan ang masisigurado ko sa inyo,” Maristela said.
Maristela added that national agencies, such as the DILG, have only general supervisions over the LGUs, stating that it does not have any control nor right to dictate what the local governments want to do.
He said that many LGUs proceed to court if they do not agree with orders implemented by national agencies.
“Kaya hindi tama sabihin na lahat ng sasabihin ng national agency ay susundin natin, kung may nakikita naman tayo na paraan na puwede natin magamit o ipinalo sa korte,” he said.
Maristela stated that it is inappropriate that the City Council always consults every ordinance to be drafted about the tricycle ban to the DOTr.
“Hindi naman pwede na lahat ng gagawin na ordinansa ay ikokunsulta kay DOTR at lahat ng sasabihan nya ay susundin natin, ano pa at naging konsehal tayo ng bayan,” he said.
“Ako ay abogado, marunong din ako magbasa ng batas, kung anong pwede natin gawin at hindi niyo kami puwede takutin na kapag pinayagan namin ang tricycle sa Rizal Avenue at San Pedro ay makakasuhan kami,” Maristela added said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.