CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—For the second time, the relationship between Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio and Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao has been strained, if media reports are to be believed.
After the “letter brouhaha” before June 30, their new source of conflict now is the “blanket authority” that Panlilio asked from the provincial board on Monday.
But Guiao on Friday clarified that he did “not reject” that request. “They make it look like we’re confrontational when we are not. We are just trying to do our job,” Guiao said referring to media reports (not in the Inquirer).
“I never said I rejected it. I said it was highly irregular. Only the Sangguniang Panlalawigan can reject it, but the proper term is ‘disapprove’ it, granting the request would be a big blow against the principle of check and balance,” he said.
In last Monday’s regular session, Panlilio told Guiao and the board members that he would like to be given a “blanket authority” to sign memoranda of agreement, deeds of donations and other contracts beneficial to the provincial government.
The governor, the first Catholic priest to be elected to the post, said he made the request in the light of offers of assistance to the provincial government.
The board has not met to decide on the request, Guiao said. “We could also be accused of dereliction of our duties if we accede to it,” he told the Inquirer on Friday.
“I’m personally not in favor of granting the request. I don’t think there are any legislative bodies in the country worth their salt that will cede away their authority just based on a simple request of the executive,” he said.
Provincial administrator Vivian Dabu said the “authority of the board is to issue a resolution authorizing the governor to sign contracts.”
Even then, she said Panlilio would still inform the board about negotiations and give its members copies of documents.
“Governor Panlilio has always the best interest of the province and the people in mind. He would always consult,” Dabu said.
Panlilio and Guiao did not see eye to eye in June when the vice governor reacted to the language of a letter by Panlilio.
In that letter, Panlilio asked Guiao to help cancel the bidding for four contracts made under the Lapid administration.