The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City will review its internal rules to determine if stiffer penalties can be imposed on members of the Council involved in disorderly behavior.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said he believes the exclusion and reprimand meted Councilor Claudio Puentevella for assaulting Councilor Dindo Ramos following a heated argument during the SP session Wednesday, is too negligible for an act he considers serious, harmful and damaging.
The SP excluded Puentevella from attending the session Wednesday after he punched Ramos on the left cheek following an argument over the proposed construction of cell no. 2 at the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City.
Leonardia said they are sad that one of them got hurt, and it was also an awakening for them to what kind of political opponents they have.
But the incident Wednesday further solidified their group and they are all behind Ramos because they believe he is the victim, he said.
Leonardia said the incident is so deplorable that it happened in full view of the media and the public. Unfortunately, a video footage of the incident was taken so the whole world knows about it.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said they will study the internal rules to see if stiffer penalties can be imposed. But he said he believes the incident will not happen again.
Familiaran said it is not true that Puentevella was not given time to study the document involving the sanitary landfill since this had been submitted to the SP last Friday yet.
Councilor Caesar Distrito said the internal rules are specific that they can only impose the penalty of exclusion from the session that carries the subsequent penalty of reprimand for disorderly behavior.
Councilor Renecito Novero said what happened Wednesday became poison on their (Puentevellas’) bowl.
Familiaran said that in the past, there were policemen assigned to the session hall, but they were pulled out because the public wanted police visibility.
He called up acting Bacolod Police director, Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, yesterday to assign policemen to the session hall, Familiaran said.
Distrito said Ramos can file criminal and administrative charges against Puentevella. One of his remedies is to file a civil suit against an agent of person in authority, and seek damages. He can also file an administrative complaint, either with the Ombudsman or the Office of the President.
Leonardia said the reason why Ramos was not present at their press conference yesterday is that he was not feeling well and had to see his doctor.
They are with him in his situation, and in whatever he plans to do, especially if he goes legal. They would like to ask for legal justice to prevail in this incident, he said.
Puentevella said he will call for a press conference anytime to air his side.*CGS
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