Bacolod Charter Day
The legally correct date for celebrating the Charter Day of the City of Bacolod is October 19, not June 18, the National Historical Commission (NHC) said in an official communication yesterday.
The controversial issue on the legality of the date of celebrating the city’s Charter was brought up again yesterday after Bacolod Rep. Anthony Rolando Golez Jr. called for a press conference to show to the media the document supposedly coming from the NHC which gave its opinion and legal stand on the matter.
The National Historical Commission (NHC), in its December 21, 2012 letter to Congressman Anthony Golez, corrected Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s insistence on celebrating the creation of the City of Bacolod on June 18 which is supported by a local Ordinance 588 dated May 2, 2012.
The NHC letter to Golez clearly read, "The date of the coming into existence of a local government unit (LGU) is distinct from the date of the effectivity of the law creating that LGU."
This is because, same NHC letter quoted Commonwealth Act no. 326 that certain processes are needed to be undertaken before Bacolod could function as a chartered city, among them, is "the selection by the President (in 1938 then was Manuel Quezon) of an appointive Mayor and other officials."
Radio and TV Broadcaster Franklin Villanueva showed yesterday a letter signed by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte how subtle the way a certain Rogelio Giganan requested President Benigno Aquino III to write "A Bacolod Charter Day" greeting published by a newspaper of regional circulation.
Is the city government, particularly Mayor Evelio Leonardia, his close-in cabal composed of his brother Prospero Leonardia, Hugo "Tutay" Corral, Jose "Peping" Villanueva and Goldwyn Nifras, BAC chair, in the final stages of its "cooking" preparations to ensure that the garbage privatization contract between them and the private company, Metro Waste, be finalized?
Cong. Anthony Golez emphasized over a radio broadcast that he will join the group doing legal acts. But, he knows that RA 7724 was being defied, so he no longer supports the group advocating for new celebration date of Bacolod’s Charter day. He said, RA 7724 is a national law and used as basis by Malacañang in denying the request for another holiday proclamation because of RA 7724.
In a message published in a regional paper dated June 18, 2012, no less than President Benigno Aquino III of the Republic of the Philippines greeted Bacolod City, for its charter day celebration.
He said, "My warmest greetings to the people of Bacolod City as you celebrate your Charter Day. I congratulate you on this milestone, and it is my hope that you will further be motivated by the collective achievement you celebrate today, along with your storied heritage, your distinct identity, and your pride on your city and your culture. Build on these gains and fortify your efforts to take your city into even greater heights. We in government count on the continued development of Bacolod City, that you may attain your respective goals and contribute to our country’s equitable progress. Empowered by the daylight of hope and reform, we write a new chapter marked by accountability, transparency, integrity and justice." This greeting was signed by the President June 18, 2012.
Hon. Anthony Jose Ayco, barangay captain of Brgy. 15 in Bacolod City, questions Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s shifting of Bacolod’s Charter Day celebration from October 19 to June 18.
The insistence of city government officials led by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia was done inspite of a legal decision by its national representative, Malacañang, that it was a violation of law, RA 7724 aside from the fact that it was already part of the people’s tradition and culture, a very strong basis for the observance of any local, provincial or national event, Lone District Representative Dr. Anthony Golez said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s "Pulso" yesterday, on the insistence of these officials to celebrate the questionable "Charter."
Already humiliated and unable to have yesterday’s June 18 charter day declared a holiday, the majority political faction in the city government prevailed upon school officials to surreptitiously suspend classes and to attend the ceremony in the morning at the New Government Center (NGC), or the Bacolod City Hall.
Pasigabong Festival Dancers of Barangay Granada at the showdown of festivals at the Bacolod City Public Plaza yesterday.*(Owen S. Bayog/NDB photo)
Doctor of Education Norma Juarez-Roque yesterday belittled the legalese claims of those pushing for the transfer of the inaugural celebration of the Bacolod City Charter from October 19 to June 18.
Dr. Norma Juarez-Roque (right) explains in DYAF "Buena Mano" program that the inaugural holiday October 19 is fully covered by tradition, social acceptance and R.A.7724 filed by the late Congressman Romeo Guanzon. "Buena Mano" host Buen Gallenero (left) on the other hand shows photo of the last Municipal Mayor of Bacolod Fernando Cuadra, a male, contrary to what Councilor Caesar Distrito claimed in another radio program (Gil Severino photo)
City Ordinance no. 588 dated May 2, 2012 authored by Councilor Caesar Distrito interpreted Article VIII Section 54 of Commonwealth Act 326 which read, "that this Act shall take effect upon its approval" to mean that the inauguration of Bacolod City as a Chartered City should take place on the date when President Manuel Quezon signed the aforementioned Commonwealth Act.