MAYOR Constantino Jaraula served one term at City Hall. But unlike Governor Oscar Moreno at the Provincial Capitol, who unfailingly delivers a State of the Province Report every year, he never rendered a formal report on his administration or on the state of the city, as required by law. So there is no clear picture of his stewardship or of the city's condition.
Throughout his three years in power, spending billions of the people's money, Mayor Jaraula felt no compunction about not reporting formally on his performance.
When he stepped down, he didn't even bother with an end-of-term report. He could have done it through the City Council whose members are supposedly the people's representatives.
A public servant who ignores his duty to report to the people denigrates the concept of accountability or transparency in government. It is a rank disservice. It undermines the people's trust in politicians. It also undermines their confidence in government.
Now that Mayor Vicente Emano is back on the saddle, will he honor the people by reporting formally on his administration? Throughout his three previous terms, he didn't bother reporting either. Behaving like a monarch who sees no need to account for anything, he ignored his duty and got away with it.
When he ran and won as vice mayor, Emano could not be persuaded to perform his principal duty either. He stonewalled, dissembled and refused to preside over the city's legislative chamber. Except once, he left the vice mayor's chair unoccupied during the City Council's sessions. For three years he got away with it! It did not occur to him that he had belittled the vice mayor's role in local legislation
For a decade and a half, the mayors of our city kept the people in the dark about their program of government and their performance.
This serial shirking of official duty makes a public servant's Oath of Office worthless.
How much more of this cavalier behavior among top officials will the people tolerate?