Three years after they were ousted, the old members of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) Board of Directors have returned to settle once and for all the perennial problem on lack of water supply here.
This developed after Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. reinstated Drs. Danilo Encarnacion and Sergio Gonzales, Engr. Adrian Moncada and accountant Bernadette Castellano on Friday.
The governor honored the existence of MIWD’s old Board following the resignation of interim Board appointed by resigned Local Water Utilities Administration Chairman Rene Villa earlier last month.
“When the members of the regular Board, who were ousted as result of the appointment of the interim board, learned that they have resigned, they informed me of their intent to assume office as members of the regular board and we did not object,” Defensor explained.
“We did not object because there is no decision in whatever court which says that the appointment of the regular Board is illegal and case decided by Judge (Danilo) Galvez only determined who has the appointing authority over the Board,” he added.
Defensor, who was suffering from flu, left St. Paul’s Hospital against his doctor’s advice to announce this development in a joint press conference with Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog held at his office.
The governor further stressed that “at the time the interim board was appointed, there was no final determination or clear and convincing evidence by a competent body or committee that the appointment of the old board is illegal or not. They are entitled of the presumption that their appointment is legal.”
“We also took the position that the appointment of the interim board is illegal but that is already water pass under the bridge. The issue has become moot and academic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mabilog affirmed Defensor’s statement that Iloilo City is moving fast forward and if they failed to address the problem on inadequate water supply, the city will never progress.
Now that they have returned, the city mayor expects the old MIWD Board to enforce the needed reforms to improve the services of the city’s sole water distributor.
“I expect them to open everything so the public may know what’s happening at MIWD,” he said.
As to the fate of the General Manager Le Jayme Jalbuena, who has been at odds to the old MIWD Board, the governor said that his position is co-terminus, thus, he can be terminated on the ground of loss of confidence.
He will also appoint the successor of businessman Celso Javelosa, an old member of the MIWD Board whose term expired, next week. (Source: PNA)