Councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela has accepted the chairmanship of the City Council’s transportation committee but declined to reply as to what his policy directions will be on the law banning the tricycles on national roads in Puerto Princesa.
Maristela confirmed his acceptance of the transportation committee chairmanship to Palawan News on Monday in a text message with a categorical “yes”, however, he did not entertain any other question regarding the issue.
His acceptance of the post came after councilor Elgin Damasco, who resigned as chair, openly challenged him to handle the committee that has been in the middle of controversy recently due to the implementation of the trike ban.
Taking to social media on Tuesday night, Damasco congratulated Maristela for accepting his challenge.
“Congratulations, councilor Jimbo Maristela for accepting my challenge,” Damasco posted.
“Asahan mo ang suporta ko as member ng committee on transportation sa pag-resolba sa problema sa tricycle ban basta naaayon lamang ito sa batas at national policy,” he added.
Maristela and Damasco have been at odds with each other over the enactment in the city of Memorandum Circular 2007-01 banning tricycles along the national highways.
Maristela claimed the city government will win if it brings to court the matter since the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has “no control” over local government units (LGUs).
“Ang sabi niyo dapat lagi tayong susunod sa national agency. Ang national agency po katulad ng DILG ay meron lamang tinatawag na general supervision sa local government o LGUs, wala silang control sa atin. Kaya nga po hindi nila tayo puwedeng diktahan kung anong ating gagawin. Ako po ay abogado, marunong po ako magbasa ng batas, at alam ko po kung ano ang puwede nating gawin at hindi puwedeng takutin na sasabihin niyo na kapag pinayagan natin itong Rizal Avenue at San Pedro ay makakasuhan kami,” Maristela said in a previous public hearing.
Another public consultation will be done by the committee to further discuss the tricycle ban.