By Cheryll D. Fiel
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — For many of the departing members of 14th City Council, yesterday was goodbye. Sort of.

They gave their farewell speeches during the end of their term yesterday, Tuesday. But they probably will not be missed because their names will linger in the halls of the City Council, courtesy of the relatives who replaced them.

Vice Mayor Luis Bonguyan, who ended his three-year term, has a son, John Louie, in the incoming council. Gerald Bangoy, another three-termer councilor for the second district, has his brother Samuel firmly in place. Domingo L’Dalodo, a councilor for the third district, also left but his sister Myrna L’Dalodo-Ortiz will take his seat.

Paz Mata, a councilor in the third district, has her daughter Teresita Mata-Maranon, to take her place at the council.

Councilor Jimmy Dureza is out after serving three terms. He ran for Congress but lost to incumbent second district congressman Vincent Garcia. Councilor Elias Lopez, another councilor who ran for Congress, lost to Isidro Ungab, who was backed by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Emmanuel Galicia bowed out of service after three consecutive terms and chose not to seek other elective post. Only one councilor — Nenita Orcullo — left because she lost in her reelection bid.

Ladies’ Talk. Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad (left) talks with vice-mayor elect Sara Duterte (center) before the start of the City Council’s farewell session on Tuesday. Looking on is Councilor Susabel Reta. ( photo by Marilou M. Aguirre)

Although part of the Hugpong slate, the mayor’s political party, Orcullo was pushed out of the winning circle allegedly after the banana companies campaigned hard against here. Orcullo was the proponent of the ordinance that bans aerial spraying in banana plantations here.

“You know how I stand on issues,” Orcullo said in a brief speech during Tuesday’s ceremonies.

She expressed hope that the “strong stand” she took will encourage the next council to push for more measures protecting the environment.

Dureza called on his colleagues to forget their animosities and urged them to work together for “timely, relevant and priority” legislations. Lopez said he hoped for a council that is dynamic and sensitive to the needs of the people.

Down but Still Dapper. Outgoing councilor Jimmy Dureza. ( photo by Cheryll D. Fiel)

L’Dalodo, meanwhile, thanked the public for supporting his family. Galicia, whose farewell speech was the only time he delivered a privilege speech during his entire three consecutive terms in the City Council, took the time to thank the mayor.

Galicia recalled how he first set foot in politics, without the background and the machinery but with the help of Duterte who, he said, was a “very close associate” when Duterte was still a prosecutor. He described his years at the council as a “roller coaster” ride.

There were times, he said, that he was made the subject of tirades for standing up to what he believed was right. There were also times, he said, when his “honest-to-goodness and no-nonsense conviction” was often taken as arrogance or weakness. But let bygones be bygones. We are all friends,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bonguyan will be replaced by the mayor’s daughter, Sara Duterte, who was present during the farewell ceremonies.

The Ride of His Life. Outgoing councilor Emmanuel Galicia (right) with city administrator Wendell Avisado. Galicia said his years at the council had been a roller-coaster ride. ( photo by Cheryll D. Fiel)

Bonguyan said the City Council, which served for 12 years, has been recognized for its landmark legislations. Among those he mentioned are the Watershed Code, the anti-smoking ordinance, the banning of firecrackers, the Children Welfare code, the creation of Chinatown, and, more recently, the passage of the Local Revenue Code of Davao, the ordinance banning aerial spraying, the Shelter Code, and the Fisheries Code.

Bonguyan singled out the revenue code , which allows the city government to reform its 10-year-old taxation system, paving the way for the collection of more taxes. Because of the ordinance, he said the city is expecting an income of three billion pesos this year.

He said the passage of these pieces of legislation and the citation as one of this year’s Best City Council in the country only proves that the City Council has done its job.

Orcullo’s Farewell. Councilor Nenen Orcullo (in glasses) chats with supporters after the ceremonies. ( photo by Cheryll D. Fiel)

The new members of the City Council are Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, comebacking councilors Tomas Monteverde III, Myrna L’Dalodo-Ortiz and Tessie Mata-Maranon and first-termers Edgar Ibuyan, John Louie Bonguyan, Samuel Bangoy, Karlo Bello and Rachel Zozobrado.

The four councilors who ended their three terms — Luis Bonguyan, Emmanuel Galicia Sr., Gerald Bangoy and Jimmy Dureza — were given plaques for public service.

Plaques of appreciation were also given to councilors Paz Mata, Nenita Orcullo, Rene Elias Lopez, and Domingo L’Dalodo for rendering three years in service while plaques of posthumous recognition were presented to the departed member of the 14th council, Councilor Jesus Zozobrado, and secretary to the Sangguniang Panlungsod Lolita Garcia. (Cheryll D. Fiel/

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