Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nalzaro: Why the 'former political has-been' has not been suspended?

BEFORE the campaign period, there were speculations that Malacañang, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), will impose a suspension against the “former political has-been” for the string of administrative complaints filed by his critics and the opposition. This is in time with the election period, so he will be crippled and can no longer use government resources to his advantage.

But until now, less than a month before the campaign period is over, no suspension order has been implemented. As far as I can recall, the cases filed against the “former political has-been” that are pending before the Office of the President were: the donation of two expensive Dodge charger cars by an international film company that ended up in the hands of his nephew; the re-opening of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill; the illegal operations of a V-hire terminal in Kamagayan without authority from the City Council; his withdrawal of support from the police in 2016 when his “favorite” police officers were transferred outside Cebu City; and the latest was his alleged involvement in the illegal butane canister business that was filed by the police before the Office of the Visayas Ombudsman.

Last year, there were reports that there was a two-month suspension to be imposed on him by the DILG. The suspension stemmed from the administrative case for abuse of authority and a violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct for Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, filed by Joey Alfar and Roger Cimafranca, a radio blocktimer and former employee of the Association of Barangay Councils, who were caught on video berating a traffic enforcer when they were apprehended for traffic violation.

I even obtained a copy of that “suspension order” signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año. I thought it would be served during the campaign period. I also expected that a longer suspension order would be meted out against the “former political has-been.” But until now, it never happened.

Sources said that the DILG had already wound up its investigations on the string of cases and the office had already sent its recommendations for “suspension” to the Office of the President. But neither the President nor Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia have acted on these recommendations because of a “political compromise” between the President and the “former political has-been.”

The “compromise” offered by Malacañang could be to drop his suspension while the “former political has-been” carries or campaigns for former special assistant to the President and senatorial candidate Bong Go in Cebu City. That is why the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) is carrying and is campaigning for Bong Go. Besides, sources said there are also local businessmen who are close to the powers-that-be that “intervened” to block the suspension.

So what happened to the “power and influence” of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino? Well, he has no more influence to convince the President to suspend his “political nemesis.” I think Dino knows this development but what can he do? It’s the decision of the President. Dino is even giving an all-out support for the election of Go through the Malasakit program.

While the President is endorsing Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella as the administration mayoral candidate, there is also a sort of a “modus vivende” (arrangement or agreement) between the chief executive and the ‘former political has-been’s” group. If you observe the President is no longer very “harsh” against the mayor unlike in his previous visits here when he always castigated him. Ingon ana nang duwa sa pulitika. Wala na’y “Hoy, Tomas, tamparuson ta unya ka!”


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