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Iloilo City council: Implement pre-veto 2019 budget

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A veto of Iloilo City’s P2.318-billion budget for 2019 by mayor Jose Espinosa III appears to have done little to ease the political tension between the mayor and the city council.

While the Sangguniang Panlungsod failed to override Espinosa’s veto, its majority bloc at the council became creative by striking out the mayor’s line vetos.

The majority bloc also passed a resolution directing the local finance committee to implement the city council’s pre-veto version of the budget.

Councilor Plaridel Nava, who chairs the council’s committee on appropriations, claimed the mayor’s veto was “invalid” and “defective,” and thus “not binding.”

Backing him in scrapping the veto were councilors Jay Treñas, Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Armand Parcon, Ely Estante, Marie Irene Ong, Leila Luntao, and Joshua Alim.

Only six councilors identified with Espinosa objected. They were Eduardo Peñaredondo, R Leoni Gerochi, Lyndon Acap, Candice Tupas, Mandrie Malabor, and Liezl Joy Zulueta-Salazar.

However, City Administrator Hernando Galvez said the city council’s resolution merely expresses the sentiments of the council and has no obligatory or legal effect.