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Davao City, Philippines

14 city councilors bid farewell in final session

June 26, 2019 - Wednesday 11:06 AM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image The 14 outgoing councilors pose for a “graduation” photo. Arjoy M. Ceniza

DAVAO CITY -- The final session of the 18th City Council was filled with laughter, tears, jokes, and hugs as 14 outgoing and graduating legislators bade farewell.

The 18th Council leadership on Tuesday, June 25, also gave plaques of distinction to the 14 councilors for their contribution to the Council through their legislation and ordinances.

The councilors included 10 whose three consecutive terms ended: Victorio Advincula Jr., Al Ryan Alejandre, Nilo Abellera Jr., Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos, Jimmy Dureza, Rene Elias Lopez, April Marie Dayap, Leah Librado Yap, Marissa Abella, and Carmelo Clarion.

Also leaving the Council is Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag, who was elected councilor but assumed the vice mayorship when then-Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte resigned in December 2017.

Three other councilors who served one term are leaving: Cherry Bonguyan, Avegayle Ortiz, and Diosdado Mahipus.

The 14 councilors delivered their respective valedictory speeches except for Clarion who was not present. 

Advincula, who finished three terms, gave a heartfelt speech, thanking his colleagues for the cooperation, corrections, and valuable assistance.

“I intend to continue and extend help to the people of the third district and of course the City of Davao in general, and assist my daughter in her programs and projects in the barangay,” he said.

His daughter, lawyer Sweet Advincula, will replace him in the 19th Council after winning in the 2019 midterm election. 

Alejandre, who chaired the committee on tourism and international relations, delivered a lengthy speech enumerating some of his major legislations for the welfare of the tourism industry in the City.

“I cannot do the job as a member of the city council if I do not love public service. After all, what we do as a councilor is a labor of love too.”

Abellera, who served as president of Councilor’s League of the Philippines-Davao City Chapter, delivered a short message as he bade his colleagues and the council goodbye.

“In my years of public service, I admit that I have my shortcomings, but I assure you that I have with utmost diligent fulfilled my promise to the people of Davao City to serve them with honesty, integrity, sincerity, and dedication,” he said.

Joanne Bonguyan, who was the chair of the Committee on Information Technology, focused her speech on thanking some known politicians, especially the late House Speaker Prospero Nograles, former Rep. Karlo Nograles, and Partylist Rep. Koko Nograles who had helped in her nine-year stint in Legislative branch.

She also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte for the respect of their political differences, and for providing her a platform to serve inspite of not being a party member.

Dureza focused on thanking the people who supported him in his advocacies, such as family, colleagues, constituents in the 2nd district, and to the Duterte family for the trust and guidance.

Dureza was chair of the committee on trade and commerce. His son Alain James Dureza was not able to get in as he lost in 2019 midterm election.

Lopez recalled the challenges and battles he fought while serving nine consecutive years in the Council.

“In my nine last years it has always been an uphilled battle since the elections for three terms. I always found myself in the wilderness along and trying my best to fight through the jungle of political battle,” he said.

Mahipus, who only served one term, as he will be replaced by his son in the 19th council, thanked each of his colleagues, the media, and his staff for their loyalty and support.

He described the 18th City Council as one of the best in the entire country.

Dayap made a short message by thanking all the people who supported throughout her journey.

Dayap first entered politics when she represented the youth sector in the Souncil as president of the Sangguniang Kabataan federation.

“I am forever grateful for the people of Davao, for the Duterte family, for my constituents in the second district for your trust and support,” she said. 

Avegayle Ortiz, whose mother is councilor-elect Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, served the city for one term, which she described as a “roller-coaster ride” but for which she thankful since she ended up alive and a better person.

Librado-Yap ended up her nine years as legislator by thanking some of the important people who were the instruments of being a lawmaker, especially her mother and lawyer Angela Librado-Trinidad, both former city councilors.

She thanked President Duterte for giving her the opportunity to be part of the organic and alternative politics.

Abella in her speech recalled that she entered politics to continue the legacy of her father, the late Pedring Salvador.

In an emotional speech, Bonguyan said she will cherish her one term in the Council.

She made mentioned the laws she had passed, including the creation of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) and the City Archive and Records Office.

In his speech, Al-ag used words that are popular in the country today: pay-in and pay-out.

He said the “pay-in” was the strong support and trust given by the  Davaoeños to the council. 

He also thanked the taxpayers and investors for their “pay-in” to the city.

Al-ag then described all the accomplishments of the 18th Council under the leadership of then Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and up to his time as their “pay-out” to the people of Davao.