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Privilege speech of Board Member Lee M. Zosa during the 8th regular session of the Samar SP

Samar SP Session Hall, Capitol Bldg., Catbalogan City, Samar
August 27, 2013

Board Member Lee Zosa


Mr. President, I rise on a point of privilege.

Since July 4, 2013 when we started to convene this August Body, we had been under siege from all sides by malicious, baseless and unreasonable loose talks calculated to destroy the good name of this August Body and the good names of its members.

Mr. President, in 1988, while vice-governor of this province, after having verified that the provincial government suffered damage due to over-pricing of 100 reams of onion skin paper which was ordinarily priced at P55.00 per ream was purchased by the province at P550.0 thereby causing undue injury to the government in the total amount of forty-nine thousand five hundred pesos (P49,500.00). This representation, without going to the radio stations, TV stations and the newspapers to demolish the names of the respondents, forthwith prepared the complaint and the affidavits of the witnesses for filing with the ombudsman. Mr. President, there was probably factual basis behind the complaint as in fact the respondents were suspended for six (6) months each.

Upon the other hand, Mr. President, in the present tense, the air is saturated with loose talks which, if translated to the dialect means “tsismis”, to the effect that I and the four other members of the Liberal Party who won in the last elections have already joined the party of the honorable governor.

With due respect, Mr. President, I cannot speak for the others, but as for me – that is a big lie. I have a high respect for the honorable governor, but I have not joined her party, and neither do I have any intention of joining her party in the immediate future.

Mr. President, since 1969 when I first entered politics as a ward leader, I had sticked through thick and thin with the Aquinos, starting from the late Ninoy down to the late President Cory, up to the present Aquino who is the incumbent president. Sa loob ng 45 anyos, ako’y nanatiling supporter ng mga Aquino at ng kanilang mga lideres dito sa Samar, hindi ako tulad ng mga iba diyan na matapos kumandidato sa ibang partido ng dalawang beses na laging talonan, biglang bumaligtad at sumapi sa Liberal Party. No Mr. President, I am not a political butterfly, and will never be one.

Itong mga kasinungalingang ito na ako daw ay sumapi na sa partido ni governor Tan ay hindo po tutoo. Sa kabila niyan, laganap sa radio, TV, at Facebook ang balita na ako daw po ay tumawid na sa partido ni governor Tan. Yan po ay walang katotohanan.

Also, the air waves and multi-media are saturated with the propaganda that we in the August Body have given governor Tan the blanket authority to enter into all kinds of contracts and agreements. That is not true Mr. President. It may be recalled that a proposed resolution was filed with this body revalidating an existing ordinance passed and approved by the previous sangguniang panlalawigan granting the governor blanket authority to enter into all kinds of contracts and agreements with any entity, organization, or agency whether local or national, or foreign.

When it was referred to the Committee on Laws and Legal Matters chaired by yours truly, said proposed resolution was sheared of the blanket authority portion and thus the honorable governor was stripped of that blanket authority that was granted her by the quondam sangguniang panlalawigan.

The authority that was approved was the specific authority that was limited only to enter into contracts over the Gandara-Matuguinao road and the San Jose de Buan-Lokilokon road because there was danger that the funds for the project maybe cancelled or be diverted to the other provinces should there be delay in the grant of the authority sought for. Mr. President, to grant that blanket authority would be tantamount to a wholesale abdication of a power that had been jealously preserved and vested by law solely in the local legislature, for which reason the sangguniang panlalawigan withheld such blanket authority sought for in the proposed resolution.

When the Committee decided not to adopt the proposed grant of blanket authority to the governor, it was not due to the prodding or advice of anybody. Mr. President, we don’t need the advice of anybody as we are all responsible and wise men and women. As for this representation, being a lawyer, I don’t need the advice of anybody regarding the law. With respect to moral and ethical disciplines, I do not need the advice of anybody as nobody has the moral and ethical ascendancy over my humble being save my conscience and my father confessor.

To my fellow Samareños, I hereby state in all honesty and candor, that for as long as I am the chair of the Committee on Laws and Legal Matters, no resolution or ordinance shall go through the portals of the sangguniang panlalawigan not unless it passes the norm of transparency and the paradigm of beneficiality to the Samareños as would advance the best interest of the province of Samar. That is a personal guaranty . . . a lifetime commitment.

Thank you, Mr. President. (Running time 0:07:23)