Mayor appears at Capitol for ‘boxing match’

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


NO BOXING bout happened Monday at the Capitol between Mayor Magdaleno Peña, close ally and relative of Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez, and lawyer Jose Maria Valencia, spokesman and chief of staff of Governor Alfredo Marañon.

Peña, who dared the boxing match with Valencia, arrived at the Capitol 10:45 a.m. wearing what he called a “Jean-Claude Van Damned” karate suit -- a white fitted shirt and black pants -- on board his blue Challenger SR Sports car.

The mayor was in convoy with the patrol car of the Pulupandan police and a Nissan Serena car with red plates when he arrived at the Capitol.

Peña then flexed his muscles to the media and some Capitol onlookers before proceeding to the Capitol's Social Hall at the second floor. He asked the media to call Valencia, so that the boxing match between them could immediately start.

He said he has challenged Marañon for a debate with the Capitol's purchase of imported sheep, which he alleged was overpriced.

"The Capitol acquired loan of P120 million for the acquisition of the imported sheep. Who will pay for that? Some were given and distributed to the local government units? Where would they get the money to pay for the loan? You, me, we will pay for that," Peña said.

"Marañon assigned Valencia to debate with me so he did not follow his boss. Is it not insubordination?" he added.

When asked to comment on Valencia's absence at the venue, Peña replied, while showing off his muscles, "Pok pok pok pokak. Chicken. Chicken. Chicken. Wala gid ko namahaw para condition."

When asked for his comment on Valencia's statement that it will be a height of foolishness if he debates against Peña, he responded, "He (Valencia) makes my day."

With Peña at the social hall on Monday was the chief of police of Pulupandan and three other members of the Pulupandan police, two other personal guards and other lady assistants.

Peña said that when Alvarez wins the election, he will not take the position of Provincial Administrator Enrique Pinongan as he wants to be appointed as aid-at-large or trouble fixer, not trouble shooter.

He said he will file the plunder case against Marañon and Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Renante Decena after the Holy Week and that he will also ask lawyer Rowena Guanzon, who was recently appointed as Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner, to investigate the overpriced purchase of imported sheep so that COA and the Office of the Ombudsman would have a simultaneous investigation on the matter.

Valencia, for his part, reported at his office early Monday. When asked for his comment about the boxing match challenge of Peña, he merely responded, "I will not stoop to his level."

Valencia said he just replies with “smileys” when he is being asked for a comment through texts about the challenge.

He said there is no use debating with Peña since he is not one of the candidates in the May elections, and debates during elections is a gauge for determining the stand of the candidates on a particular issue.

Valencia reiterated that the objective of the debate is to help the electorate.

He added he does not think that the governor will engage in a debate with someone who is not even a candidate.

"This will help the voters choose the right candidate," the lawyer added.

He emphasized that the alleged overpriced sheep procurement had long been answered by the governor and Dr. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian.

Meanwhile, commenting on the governor's recent distribution of livelihood assistance to farmers for the purchase of carabaos for farm productivity, Peña commented: "I am glad that the governor has come to his senses. Now he is giving out carabaos instead of sheep."

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 26, 2013.

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