Verbal tussle erupts at Batangas board session

Published November 6, 2018, 4:21 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Lyka Manalo

BATANGAS CITY, Batangas — A provincial board member and the vice governor engaged in a heated verbal exchange when the latter refused to acknowledge a motion on the approved tax relief ordinance, prompting him to suddenly declare the session adjourned.

The tussle happened during the privilege hour, when Board Member Jonas Patrick Gozos read the letter from the office of Governor Hermilando Mandanas signed by provincial administrator Librado Dimaunahan requesting to delete Section 10 of the approved ordinance granting tax relief to delinquent property taxpayers.

Under Section 10 there will be no public auction of properties for nonpayment of tax dues during the tax relief period until December this year.

An auction had already been scheduled this month. Since there was no veto message from the governor, the board considered the ordinance approved.

Board Member Rowena Africa tried to raise a motion for clarification, but Vice Gov. Sofronio Ona Jr., the presiding officer, said he already resumed the suspended internal rules of procedure and turned down Africa’s motion.

Ona then asked two board members to move for adjournment. Board Member Alfredo Corona whose request for a five-minute recess was earlier ignored, then uttered, “Wala naman sana bastusan” (Hope there was no act of disrespect).

Ona, who was on his way out of the session hall replied , “Kayo ang bastos” (you are the ones who are disrespectful).

The two exchanged angry words until Ona left the room.