Queensland: SP no, Mayor yes

Mayor Rody Duterte appeared jolly last night as he met members of the City Council for a consultation. Tagging along with the mayor were members of the local media. So, much of what we discussed at the Grand Men Seng Hotel from 9 p.m. to midnight would surely be in the news in the coming days.

Here is a quick view.

The mayor started by notifying the councilors that he received a letter from the Philippine Reclamation Authority on the controversial Queensland reclamation along Times Beach, part of which is a city government reservation. He told us that the City Legal Office has just referred the matter to the City Council. And this was the reason he called for the meeting.

He explained in no uncertain terms his personal position on the issue: “no objection” to the Queensland application with PRA. He emphasized, however, the need to set aside as another matter the issue on Queensland’s encroachment on the city government’s reservation.

The mayor’s stand is contrary to the position of most members of the City Council, including Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who are not keen to grant the Queensland’s bid. For many and various reasons.

A second public hearing on this issue is set next week. It would indeed be very interesting how this new development would play into the final verdict of the City Council.

The other issues taken up by the mayor were as serious yet he was able to elicit a number of good laughs from us with his no-holds-barred remarks. Sorry folks, most of these are unprintable.

On the peace and order – he affirms his support for a political settlement with the MILF; and that the city is not threatened by the conflict in central Mindanao;

On the crash of the C-130 Philippine Air Force cargo plane off the Davao Gulf – it was an accident likely caused by the bad weather Monday night;

On city government projects – the need to establish bus terminals outside the city center, installation of CCTV cameras in major city streets; and privatization of the city-owned slaugther house;

And a final poser on what to do with the offer of a state bank for a new credit line to the city government of P3 billion.

7:26 a.m.