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LAPU-LAPU CITY, PHILIPPINES- The men of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan are now claiming that they are residents of Lapu-Lapu City. This after an exclusive iNews.Ph article came out that their being residents of the city would matter on their impending appointments at the city hall.

Oscar Pineda who is being eyed as the “Public Information Officer (PIO)” of Chan claimed that contrary to what his peers knew that he is a resident of “Minglanilla”, he is a resident of Sewage, a sitio in Barangay Pusok of the city.

He asked this writer what provision of law that the report of Inews.Ph had emanated and when told about the local government code (Republic Act 7160) particularly Sec. 486 (The Information Officer; Qualifications, Term, Powers and Duties) to wit; (a) No person shall be appointed information officer unless he is a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the local government unit concerned, of good moral character xxx … xxxx to which Pineda replied, he has been living in “Sewage.”

But his earlier answer which was on tape he said, “there is no question kungasa ka nagpuyo,” of which he later uttered, “Ako nagpuyosa Sewage, sa Sewage ko nagpuyo.” He did not present proof to support his claim however after he was told of the provision of RA 7160 that he asked.

Pineda who prior to his reporting for work in Lapu-Lapu City was in the provincial information office at the Capitol in Cebu City did not show any certification from the barangay that he claims that he is now residing or any billing statement that reflects the supposed address in Sewage that he claims to be residing.

For his part, Atty. James Allan Sayson, the prospective city legal officer told iNews.Ph that he is very aware of the residency requirement. He said he can answer it if their appointments will be tackled for confirmation/concurrence in the city council because he has been a resident of Lapu-Lapu City already six months earlier before he reported for work in the city hall.

Sayson admitted to have worked in the Mandaue City government but he said while he was there as “Attorney IV”, he already transferred his residence. “I am a resident of Lapu-Lapu City Sir. I am prepared to answer that when the time comes. I live in Lapu-Lapu City, I used to work with Mandaue City but I decided to transfer here in Lapu-Lapu City because it is closer to Mandaue,” Sayson told iNews.Ph when asked.

He admitted that he still goes home to Cebu City though but only to check on his parents and in-laws. Based on the article 481 of RA 7160 (The Legal Officer), there is also a requirement on the practice of profession however which is “at least 5 years”, a matter which Sayson must also justify because he just passed the bar in 2016.

Sayson is a product of the University of San Carlos (USC) law school where during that batch, two USC law graduates, landed in the top 10; Athena Plaza (No.2) and Jecca Jacildo (No. 8).

Counting from 2016, Sayson has just practiced law for 3 years, which is short of the 5 years for one to be qualified.

Apart from Pineda and Sayson, two others have to prove that they are also residents of the local government unit concerned, Atty. Danilo Almendras to be confirmed as a city administrator and Ronald Malacora as General Services Officer (GSO).

Almendras used to be the city administrator of Mandaue City while Malacora used to work for the Cebu City government./AAJ


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