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Councilor Modesto V. Rodriguez, II. took over the position of majority floor leader of the Sangguniang Panlungsod that had been left vacant by the late Councilor Feliberto “Feliboy” S. Oliveros, III., who died on August 20. He was removed from the position as majority floor leader and then a few minutes later was again reelected to the same position.

Councilor Herbert S. Dilig initially argued that the election of Rodriguez as the new majority floor leader during their session last August 30 was “out of order and irregular.”

“The election was not held on the floor and only during the executive session. I believe that the election should be done on the floor. And the result of the election was never formally reported to the floor or to the body,” Dilig pointed out.

Vice Mayor Ma. Nancy M. Socrates, however, said she saw no irregularity during the last election, and that Rodriguez was duly recognized as the new majority floor leader after the manifestation of Dilig himself.

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She also said that she thinks everything that happened at their session on August 30 was legal because, as the presiding officer, she recognized Rodriguez as the new majority floor leader. This was in response to Councilor Luis M. Marcaida, III’s question about the validity of their last session.

“Councilor Rodriguez was formally recognized as the majority floor leader, so it is my belief that all our actions in the previous session are valid,” she said.

Sanggunian Secretary Atty. Phillip Jerome Hilario also said that they work “under the doctrine of operative fact, which says that Councilor Rodriguez is still the majority floor leader, even though the position of the majority floor leader is not being questioned.”

Councilor Nesaro G. Awat also said he was perplexed with the fact that Dilig participated in the proceedings last week but went on the challenge the same.

“I understand, we participated in that election and, if I’m not mistaken, Councilor Dilig participated via Zoom. Now if that is the case, are we not stooped in raising that as an issue? After all, this is our procedure. If we choose that our procedure be done in an executive session, let it be. I think it is premature to question the election and we are already stooped in questioning our actions as null and void,” he said.

In the end, the councilors agreed to Dilig’s proposal, after which he was also the one who nominated Rodriguez for the position of majority floor leader.

“I am just putting things into proper perspective,” he said.

Socrates, meanwhile, cautioned the councilors and said the same proceedings should not happen again.


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