FOR almost two hours, Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes bashed political opponents over different issues, including the slashing of his annual budget, during his State of the City Address (Soca) at the Tabunok Public Market last Monday.
The mayor blamed political opponents, particularly members of the Alayon-dominated City Council, for blocking the implementation of some of his projects and programs.
He also told his more than 1,000 supporters that he has accomplished more than his predecessors.
Lack of knowledge
“Nakabuhat ko ani tanan bisag pa nga ang inyong mayor wala’y kabangkaagan (With hardly any knowledge to run the city I was able to achieve this),” de los Reyes said.
He cited the infrastructure projects that he has implemented, including asphalting and cementing of important routes in the city and the construction of drainage facilities in heavily-flooded areas like Barangays San Isidro and Bulacao.
He said the City has acquired new equipment for the rural health units and new vehicles, such as patrol cars for the local police and garbage trucks for the barangays.
He said that it was during his administration that commuters could avail themselves of free bus rides to Cebu City daily.
But aside from his accomplishments, de los Reyes used his Soca to accuse members of the council of obstructing some of his pet projects, including the construction of a proposed P360-million new Tabunok Public Market.
Had the council approved his P1-billion proposed annual budget, construction of the new market would have started this year, he said.
“What did they do? They stopped the construction of the new market because they believed that once completed, it would help me win in next year’s election,” he said in Cebuano.
He also accused the council of slashing the City’s funds, including his P10-million confidential funds, which he could have used to help the poor.
“Bati ba diay nga gamiton ang akong confidential funds para sa kabos? Sayup ba diay na (Is it bad to use my confidential funds for the poor? Is it wrong?),” the mayor said.
With his confidential funds reduced, de los Reyes said he ended up using his own money.
He said he continues to work as a mayor because he wants to help the poor.
He said he doesn’t have to be a professional to serve the public.
“The citizens don’t need a lawyer or a professional to serve them as mayor. Being a lawyer or a professional is useless if you can’t even open your own gate for the poor,” de los Reyes said in Cebuano.
Of the 11 members of the Council, only Councilors Valeriano Ylanan and Dennis Basillote were present during the mayor’s Soca. The two are allied with the mayor.