Mayor wants more political, legal advisers


MAYOR Jose Espinosa III (Ricky Alejo photo)

OLD HABITS die hard?

Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III said he might appoint at least four more advisers to help him govern.

In an interview, Espinosa said he is eyeing to tap his own legal counsel, and advisers for political affairs, information technology, and Commission on Audit (COA).

While City Hall already has offices that deal with these concerns, Espinosa said the advisers will be exclusive to the Office of the City Mayor so he can decide on pressing issues immediately instead waiting for the advises of city hall executives.

The mayor, who is also a lawyer, said he wants his own legal counsel to avoid waiting for the opinion of the City Legal Officer, which is preoccupied with many legal cases faced by the city.

“I don’t have the monopoly of intelligence about laws. I need to confirm (issues) with a lawyer first before I make a decision… at least we’ve consulted someone,” he stressed.

Espinosa looked to Malacañang in his plan to hire an assistant for political affairs.

“I am still contemplating (to have a) mayor’s special assistant for political affairs. Even in Malacañang they have secretary for political affairs,” he said.

The mayor said he might also need a special assistant for COA to ensure all actions of his office conform with COA rules on audit.

“I am looking for a retired COA head to help the Office of the Mayor,” he said.

The mayor wants to hire an adviser for Information Technology “because I have no idea about it.”

Of all the coterminous officials appointed by Mabilog, only City Administrator Hernando Galvez, City Legal Officer Lorna Laurea, and Executive Assistants Perla Zulueta (for finance) and Melchor Tan (for infrastructure) were reappointed.

Espinosa also appointed Mabilog’s executive assistant for mental health, Dr. Guillemo Dela Llana as his private secretary.

Espinosa’s camp has yet to finalize the number of advisers he will reappoint.

He created a Special Selection and Evaluation Team (SSET) composed of his trusted aides to evaluate the performance and track record of Mabilog-era executives.

But the new mayor hinted he let go of at least one of Mabilog’s appointees.

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