THE Baguio City Council is looking for legal remedies to fix what they see as a city charter too riddled with mistakes to simply be amended, according to Councilor Peter Fianza, a lawyer, former city administrator, and chair of the Committee on Laws.
“From our initial assessment, the modern charter has to be revised entirely. There are so many mistakes, including errors they copied from other laws,” Fianza said during the council’s session on Monday.
Councilor Jose Molintas asked the body to also study its legal options, among these a possible petition for declaratory relief before a court to declare the new Baguio Charter or RA 11689, which replaced the old charter of 1909, inoperative and void.
According to the city councilors, Baguio should seek a “genuine” modern charter from Congress, which would resolve modern problems and pass through a plebiscite, as the current charter has many “flaws” such as requiring Baguio to pass through the provincial board for approval on its actions.
The city council had objected to the modern charter bill last year after its contents were outlined by Secretary Luzverfeda Pascual, presidential adviser on legislative affairs, in their March 7 session.
Baguio Representative Marquez Go, who authored RA 11689, has also filed HB 7406 to accommodate some amendments earlier filed by city officials on the new charter.
Nine councilors subsequently passed a resolution urging then-President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the measure, owing to major concerns such as land issues on Camp John Hay, among others, and townsite sales.
The revised city charter however lapsed into law in April last year by virtue of then president Rodrigo Duterte failing to sign or veto it.