JVR lacks direction

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


PERSONALLY I would not want to comment on what is going on in Talisay. I do not want to appear as sourgraping. You all know what happened last election in Talisay City.

There were serious misgivings by my lawyers about the election results but, against their advice, I immediately “conceded“ victory to Mayor Johnny V. (JVR) de los Reyes.

After all public service is not one man’s monopoly. Everyone should be given a chance to serve.

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But lately I am alarmed by developments that I am constrained to raise my voice, to present my two cents worth of opinion in the interest of the Talisaynons.

No direction

Mayor JVR has been mayor for nine months but there is no clear direction as to where Talisay is going, or what will Talisay be one year from now, five years from now or ten years from now.

There is no planning, no looking forward. He brags about his free medicines, free burial and relocation sites for the informal settlers but these programs were started and implemented during former mayor Socrates Fernandez’s time. These were not his but Mayor Soc’s.

When he assumed office, he brought his relatives to City Hall, some as far as Mindanao. It seems he does not trust the Talisaynons, only his relatives.

A number occupy important positions at City Hall, including his son, the city administrator, who acts as if he is mayor.

He wants to borrow P387 million from Land Bank or DBP to build a public market in Tabunok but without presenting the details of his plan.

He blames the City Council for not giving him authority but how could the City Council do so when he has not even explained how the City would pay the P5 million monthly amortization on a market income presently of less than P2 million a month.

Rule of Law

I caused the founding and establishments of the Talisay City College, during my term as first elected city mayor of Talisay through an ordinance passed by the City Council.

Section 3 of the 4th SP Ordinance No. 2013-05 amending the 1st SP Ordinance No. 2004-05 provides for the composition of the governing board.

Section 6 of the 3rd SP Ordinance No. 2008-11 provides for the administration of the College:

a) The administration of the college shall be vested in the President of Talisay City College who shall render full time service. HE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, upon the recommendation of a duly constituted search committee.

Pursuant to its authority the Board of Trustees passed Resolution No. 21, S. 2013;

“BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, that Mr. Richel N. Bacaltos is hereby appointed and designated as Officer-in-Charge and Acting President of Talisay City College effective immediately until such time that a full time an additional designation to his current position.”

On Feb. 3, 2014, Mayor JVR issued Executive Order 2014-007 appointing Paulus Mariae Cañete as officer-in-charge President of TCC.

Mayor JVR blatantly disregarded the law when he issued the Executive Order replacing the duly appointed college president Bacaltos with Cañete on a falsified authority.

There is no Board resolution appointing Cañete; there is no Board resolution giving Mayor JVR authority to appoint.

We now ask Mayor JVR, where is the Rule of Law? Can the mayor just wilfully disobey a City Ordinance?

He ordered the payment of the salary of Cañete on the basis of his invalid appointment; he has unlawfully withheld the salary of Bacaltos and those of his working staff.

May I remind the mayor that City Hall is not his private business? City Hall is a public office and there are laws and processes to observe, most important of which is the Rule of Law.

One of his first acts in office was to issue an Executive Order urging the businesses in Talisay to give preference to Talisaynons for employment.

Yet in his unlawful appointment of a College President, he unilaterally chose a Mandauehanon. Is there no Talisaynon qualified to be a College President? Is the appointment of Cañete not a case of Mayor JVR violating his own Executive Order?

I fear that under Mayor JVR’s leadership or lack of it, Talisay is going nowhere.--Atty. Eduardo R. Gullas

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2014.

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