Not non-partisan

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


REMINDERS to those who are interested to run in the Oct. 25 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections: the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy is midnight tonight. Tomorrow is the start of the official 10-day campaign period. Good luck to all candidates, especially to the members of my news staff at dySS Super Radyo (RGMA Cebu) who have decided to join the “fray.”

Incumbent barangay councilors Allan Majait of Apas, Jeffrey Tumulak of Camputhaw and Gabriel Bonjoc of Poblacion, Talisay are seeking re-election. Gerry Auxilio of Quiot, Pardo and Norman Mendoza of Ibabao, Estancia, Mandaue City will try their luck also as barangay kagawad.

During the campaign period, radio listeners cannot hear their voices on air as they have been ordered by management to go on leave.
***
The claim that the barangay and SK elections are non-partisan and apolitical is wrong. How can the elections become non-partisan when politicians (mayors, governors and congressmen) are endorsing candidates and giving them financial support?

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Politicians used these barangay officials in previous elections. Now it is the turn of the village officials to ask for support and financial assistance for their campaign from politicians. When a barangay official joins a political party or is endorsed by a politician, can we still call him non-partisan or apolitical?

Non-partisan means that one is free from party affiliation or bias and is not actively taking sides on a matter under dispute. It also means impartial, neutral, non-aligned, unbiased, uncommitted, uninvolved, unprejudiced, free from bias in judgment, objective.

Consider this: Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, founder of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), is endorsing and supporting barangay candidates. He publicly said that he is supporting the opponents of his former allies accused of involvement in irregularities in the implementation of barangay projects.

Is that apolitical? Moneyed candidates can shoulder their own expenses. I have heard that there are candidates for barangay captain who are willing to spend millions of pesos just to ensure victory.

But what about those who can't afford to shell out a few thousand pesos for their election expenses? The tendency is that they will approach politicians for help. Isn't that partisan?

(bgnalzaro@gmanetwork.com)

3.

Wenceslao: Coal-fired power plant, Inayawan polls, etc.

Bong O. Wenceslao
Candid Thoughts

COAL-FIRED power plant at the South Road Properties (SRP)? This just shows how desperate Rep. Tomas Osmeña and the Cebu City Government are in their effort to fast-track the development in the said area. The vision that was peddled when the SRP was still being conceptualized has been lost.

A coal-fired power plant is actually the power industry’s version of the transport sector’s Light Rail Transit. The Osmeña-favored Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) I would compare to renewable sources of energy. BRT is a progressive concept and so are “renewables.”

Is the setting up of a coal-fired power plant in the SRP a case of beggars can’t be choosers or is it a product of a bankruptcy of ideas?

***

Capitol consultant Sam Costanilla, who is running for the post of councilor of Barangay Inayawan, wrote that Rep. Tomas Osmeña is supporting their group, United Inayawanons/Save Inayawan Movement, after all.

That could be a fatal blow to the group of incumbent Barangay Captain Rustico Ignacio. Not only did Osmeña distance himself from him, the former mayor is supporting the group of Jerome Jaca. But as they say in basketball, the ball is round. Expect an exciting political battle ahead in that barangay.

***

It’s good that doctors of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) were finally able to articulate their complaint about the facility. I doubt if they would have done it had they been in front of former mayor Tomas Osmeña and not the incumbent, Michael Rama.

I pass by the CCMC almost daily on my way to the office. Work on the building façade has stopped. I just hope this is not symbolic of the kind of attention being heaped on the facility. This tests Rama’s commitment to improve not only the physical appearance of the hospital but also its services. That requires providing equipment and attending to the needs of the personnel.

***

After running, it looks like dancing is the next craze. Craze as in, yes, craze.

Consider the tax collectors of the Cebu City Government. Just because Mayor Michael Rama wants to let taxpayers pay their taxes with a smile, City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva launched the other day her “dancing tax collectors.”

Oliva took her cue from the dancing inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detantion and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), and probably took note of the controversial dancing flight attendants of Cebu Pacific Air. And just by looking at the photo on the dancing published in Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, I would say that the tax collectors achieved their purpose. Even I myself could not help but smile at their antics.

But I am always partial for creativity. At least city Hall is trying to do something different. Whether that will increase tax collection is another thing, however.
***
As for running, I did join again the Gullas Run of the Talisay City Government last Sunday. Unlike last year, Rep. Eduardo Gullas was not around but the young Gullases, including City Councilor Digul Gullas, were there. I ran 5K like last year, and finished it in the same time as last year.

But I think it was a good preparation for this Sunday’s duathlon in Barangay Gaas where I have registered in the executive relay. This time, the 5K will be run on a trail, not on a flat road. Why I am doing this is the craze part of this running craze.

(khanwens@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 14, 2010.

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