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Businessman accuses legislators of railroading street rename

LEGAZPI CITY – A prominent businessman has accused several councilors of this city and a board member of Albay for hastening an ordinance renaming a street without following the proper procedure.

Left: Barangay 34 Oro Site, Legazpi City Logo, Right: Ordinance renaming the 5th Street Extension to Jose L. Lee Street
Photos via Barangay Oro-Site Facebook Page
Marcial Tuanqui, a senior member and past president of the Albay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says that he does not understand why these legislators were such in a hurry of renaming the 5th Street Extension in Barangay Oro Site into Jose L. Lee Street.

City Ordinance No. 0001-2015 was recently passed by the Sanggunian Panlunsod of Legazpi and was subsequently approved through a resolution in the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Albay this week.

At the city level, the measure was opposed by Tuanqui firstly because the National Historical Commission (NHC) was not consulted. Second, the entrepreneur stressed that there are other historical personalities in the city who are also qualified to be given the honor.

Tuanqui also says his manifestations were never taken into consideration. He went as far as saying that he was never invited to consultative meetings and if invitations were sent, it was done so during the last minute.

When the edict was approved by the provincial board this week, Tuanqui filed a Request for Reconsideration of the SP’s approval of the ordinance with the office of Vice Governor Harold Imperial.

This time, aside from the previous reasons, he alleged that the author of the approving resolution, BM Jose Marino Madrilejos, did not hold a committee meeting to deliberate on the matter which he believed was highly irregular.

In his letter to Imperial, Tuanqui added that the city ordinance in question was never approved unanimously which was contrary to the requirements of Sec. 13, Book 1 of the Local Government Code.

In media interviews, he also cited procedures by the NHC on the time element of renaming any public domain in honor of deceased personalities.

Meanwhile BM Madrilejos, in his approved resolution, dismissed Tuanqui’s arguments citing several grey areas both in the NHC’s procedures and the local government code.

As of now, Tuanqui still hopes that his request be thoroughly reviewed by the vice governor to avoid setting a precedent to similar decrees that may be filed in the future.

If again, his words are not heard, Tuanqui says he will elevate the matter to the NHC.

The street in question is about a kilometer long and cuts through Brgy. Oro Site on the northwestern part of the city proper.

The late Jose L. Lee better known as Joe “Oro” Lee, who passed away a few years back, was its punong barangay.

He was the father of the present Barangay Chairman Joseph Philip Lee.

The young Lee is also the president of the Provincial Councilors’ League and is an ex-officio member of the provincial board.

He is reportedly a strong political ally of both Mayor Noel Rosal and Gov. Joey Salceda.

This circumstance has led critics to conclude that political patronage is behind this issue. (Joey B. Garalde)

Ordinance renaming street in Barangay Oro Site, Legazpi City to Jose L. Lee Street
Photo via Barangay Oro-Site Facebook Page

Ordinance renaming street in Barangay Oro Site, Legazpi City to Jose L. Lee Street
Photo via Barangay Oro-Site Facebook Page

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