Suit arises from row on blanket authority for governor
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar—A member of the provincial board who tried to block a move to grant blanket authority to the province’s governor to sign contracts and enter into deals has sued the governor’s brother for direct assault and slander.
Alma Uy-Lampasa, board member and former judge, said she filed the case against Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan after the vice governor shouted obscenities at her inside and outside the session hall.
The vice governor, brother of Gov. Sharee Ann Tan, was irked at Lampasa for blocking a board resolution that would allow the governor to enter into contracts and deals without prior board approval.
Lampasa said during a session on Aug. 20, she earned the ire of the vice governor when she insisted to be recognized and ask questions on a resolution that would grant the governor blanket authority to enter into contracts and deals on behalf of the provincial government.
Lampasa said the vice governor was trying to gag her to prevent her from opposing the resolution.
“The vice governor was furious that he left his elevated chair and approached me while shouting obscenities which I cannot let pass. He was just restrained by other board members as he was very angry and was trying to get near me,” Lampasa said in an interview.
Lampasa added that the incident did not end inside the session hall but continued in the hallway in front of people observing the session.
“He kept on shouting even outside the session hall and this time calling me ‘abnormal,’” Lampasa added.
In a video statement, Tan denied that he was trying to gag Lampasa, saying the board member should have waited for the right time to speak during the session.
He said Lampasa was interrupting the reading of the committee reports so, as the presiding officer, it was his responsibility to maintain order in the session.
“We have parliamentary procedures and rules to follow, and as a lawyer and a former judge, I expected her to know that,” Tan said.