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Lawmakers back Baste’s statement of solidarity for outgoing MinDA Sec. Acosta

THE 20TH City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday supporting Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s statement on the termination of Ma. Belen Acosta as head of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

The mayor took to social media on May 26 expressing his dismay at the “unjustifiable” removal of Acosta since it was done “without fair and transparent procedure or valid rationale.”

“Sec. Acosta has served as a dedicated leader, embodying the spirit of public service and contributing to the integrated development of Mindanao. Her record of good governance and exemplary public service in Davao City and Mindanao island speaks for itself,” the statement said.

He added the Marcos administration’s moves were “deeply troubling and disheartening” as they lacked transparency and undermined “respect for due process.” 

“President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos’s sudden appointment of Mr. Leo Magno to a position that wasn’t vacant raises serious concerns about the transparency of decision-making and the treatment of dedicated public servants like Sec. Acosta,” the post added.

Councilor Pilar Braga passed the resolution during the 20th regular session on May 28. The resolution followed the manifestation of Councilor Luna Acosta, daughter of the outgoing secretary Acosta. 

Councilor Angelo Mahipus Jr. said a copy of the resolution would be furnished to the Office of the Executive Secretary. He clarified the resolution was only a statement of support and not intended to influence the judicial process.

“We will not be accused of sub-divisive as the resolution is only an expression of collective sentiment at least it is clear on the record,” Mahipus said.

Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. abstained from voting as Magno is his first cousin.

In response, Braga said the resolution was not against Magno but only against the process of the appointment.

Councilor Conrado Baloran emphasized his support for the resolution and said removing Acosta was a “blatant disrespect” to the law.

“Hon.  Mabel, our colleague is working so hard for the good of Mindanao yet she was dismissed,” Baloran said, adding that it raised the question of “who will be the next” to be removed.

Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr. said it is now in the realm of the judiciary to interpret the law, following the quo warranto filed by Acosta.

To recall, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, in a letter dated May 22nd, informed Acosta of her termination due to a “loss of trust and confidence,” emphasizing the President’s prerogative in such matters.

The camp of Acosta is waiting for the Regional Trial Court to issue its decision for the quo warranto.

In a press conference on Friday, Acosta insisted she won’t step down from her post considering her term of office should be equivalent to six years.

To recall, then-President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed Acosta on Jan. 13, 2022, while Magno was appointed by the successor President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on May 13 and took his oath on May 21.



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