IT is inevitable that graft and corruption is the number one issue to be raised in every election. Opposing political camps will always bring out the issue of graft and corruption, especially against those who have already held power and the incumbents. More so, if one camp has been charged before the Ombudsman and facing trial before the Sandiganbayan even if not yet convicted with finality.
The Agnes Magpale-Hilario Davide III tandem is hyping their campaign based on good governance and on corruption-free administration. They want to condition the mind of the Cebuanos and to paint a bad image on their rival, third district Rep. Gwen Garcia, especially that the latter is facing graft and corruption cases before the Sandiganbayan and has been ordered dismissed by the Ombudsman. But the order was not implemented by the House of Representatives leadership. Garcia also has a pending appeal before the Court of Appeals, hoping for a reversal of the Ombudsman’s dismissal order.
But who is corrupt and who is not? With all due respect to Magpale, who is now running for governor, Davide cannot claim that his current administration is clean and free from corruption as there are also corruption issues hounding him. It is just unfortunate that he has failed to act on these corruption issues and impose disciplinary action against those involved. There are only two interpretations on his non-action about corruption happening on his very nose: either he does not know about it or he is part of it. If he does not know about it, then he is like a “scarecrow.” In Bisaya, “pahoy.”
In his first term, Davide questioned Garcia’s decision to construct the controversial Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), claiming it was not a priority and a total waste of taxpayers’ money. Davide claimed Garcia constructed it for her personal agenda. Garcia was sued for that, but eventually cleared by the Sandiganbayan by mere technicality.
Now that he is in power, Davide insists on constructing his P1.3-billion Capitol Resource Center despite opposition from various sectors and a violation of the heritage law. Why is Davide so obsessed on that project and saying that only the court can stop him? Is that also a priority?
The reason Gwen is facing administrative and criminal cases before the Ombudsman was because of the back-filling of the Balili Property that did not pass the Provincial Board. Now, Davide would insist on the construction of the Capitol Resource Center sans the Provincial Board authorizing him to enter into contract with the winning bidder. Gwen allegedly committed an illegal act by bypassing the authority of the Provincial Board, but now he is doing it? Where is his delicadeza?
Isn’t it corruption, the rigging in the bidding of heavy equipment by Davide’s trusted men? Where can you find a bidding where the highest bidder was declared as winner? Only at the Cebu Capitol. The bidding of a security provider at the Capitol was also rigged. It was the governor himself who ordered it rebid? Isn’t it corruption when one of his trusted men stole the culverts owned by the Capitol and donated it to the subdivision where he lives? Isn’t it corruption when one of his department heads received gifts from a private individual in exchange for favors? Why did Divide not lift a finger to discipline those who were involved? Because he is a “pahoy.”
Davide has no control over the shenanigans among his men at the Capitol. Sobra ra ka maayo o walay nahimo? Well, for sure, if Gwen wins this election, people will be terminated. But I am afraid if Magpale wins, she will retain these people. Sus, magpabilin na’ng mga corrupt diha. Ayaw intawon, Ma’am Agnes.