Councilor defends self over Davao green spaces issue

Subscribe Now February 19, 2016 at 09:02am

DAVAO City Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta defended herself in the controversial issue over removal of the 10 percent green spaces, saying this caused her to receive unfair treatment from her colleagues.

In a statement, Acosta clarified that she did not demand the deferment of the item amending the City Land Use Plan (Clup), scrapping of the 10% green spaces in the third and final reading and that it was agreed in consensus by the council members.

"It was published that I `demanded' that the item be deferred on the third and final reading. Not true. The Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) is a collegial body. We arrived at decisions through consensus," Acosta said, adding that the deferment was also agreed upon by those who voted for the amendment.

She said that environmental groups after the deferment left the gallery for a few minutes, and she also went to her office and to a restroom, and surprised that when she returned the item was being voted upon in third and final reading.

On the accusation that she is not doing her job, Acosta said she did not receive any invitation for the committee hearing for the item as she is not a member of the committee on rules and committee on housing.

She also defended that she did not call the attention of the environmentalists before the second reading as she did not know they were not given the chance to participate in the legislative process.

She also maintained that some colleagues of her tried to persuade her for positive vote but she consistently said no on the proposed amendment on both second committee report and third reading.

"I gave the same answer and same vote. I believe I did my task well as a consistent legislator," Acosta said.

She added that she could not believe that she was reprimanded saying that in all her 50 years on earth, she had never been so embarrassed, and unjustly and unfairly accused.

"I did not see it coming when I was `reprimanded', so to speak. I could not believe it was actually happening. I was so disillusioned and frustrated with the unworthy conduct. The crassness and absurdity of it all was a shock. Matanda na po ako. Alam ng mga taga Davao na ginagawa ko po ang aking trabaho. I will not claim to be an expert, but napagdaanan ko ang basics ng legislative process," Acosta said.

She said that she did not deserve the treatment she got from her colleagues as it was shabby, unfair and uncalled for and unnecessary for everybody, especially for her as an elected representative of the people.

She said that she and the people of Davao do not deserve hot headed outbursts.

"We deserve a calm and participative and intelligent democratic process," Acosta said.

She also said that she does have any control over environmental groups and advocates as she thinks they are responsible enough and mature enough to act on their own and it was just a coincidence that they have similar outlook.

"I just continue on from where I started a long way back. I had no intentions of painting anyone black or white. That is not my handiwork. Sound policy that puts a premium on the public's well-being is shared by most of us."

She also clarified that nobody objected when she asked for Fr. Joel Tabora to speak before the council in response to a letter from Ecoteneo which was sent to her office adding that she read letter en toto.

She said that allowing for a guest to speak in privilege hour should not be questioned as it is a right.

She also said that she never thought that inviting Fr. Tabora was an unwelcome act as the Vice Mayor himself who suggested in his text message that Fr. Tabora and two other councilors be invited in the media hour before the session.

Acosta said that the vice mayor also granted the request of Ecoteneo that asked assistance from Acosta's office if they could have a courtesy visit to the Vice Mayor before the session.


« 15 companies interested to invest in Davao and SOCCKSARGEN Another Philippine Eagle shot in Davao »