THE election is long over, but Mayor Leonardia is still playing for the crowd. He grandly announced that he will meet with Ceneco officials re: the brownouts plaguing not just Bacolod but the whole country today, knowing fully well that the power shortage is beyond Ceneco's capability as it is a problem directly traceable to the late President Cory Aquino when she vengefully aborted all of President Marcos' power development projects in her desire to do away with everything that had to do with Marcos. Not all of Leonardia's grandstanding can do anything about it.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Now, he is again thinking of the new city hall (which he grandly calls the New Government Center) getting its power direct from the source, the National Power Corporation, or whatever it is called now. Leonardia does not realize that the less Ceneco can sell its power, the more it will charge the consumers that continue to derive their electricity from the electric cooperative. That is why Ceneco should have not allowed the malls and the beer and softdrinks plants from sourcing their power needs directly from Napocor. City Hall's direct connection might save Leonardia a few pesos, but that will push our hope of a cheaper power farther and farther away.


Listening to Aquino's deliver his inaugural address is like listening to a demagogue delivering a campaign speech. There is none of the seriousness and intensity of the inaugural address of previous presidents.

His "tirade" against "wang-wang" is clearly a play for the rabble. "Wang-wang", though inconvenient to those who see only the haughty public official behind it, is actually a necessity we have to live with. This makes the official's travel faster, especially if he has to catch an appointment or attend a speaking engagement. It would be worse if he keeps the people waiting for him, wait for hours, the way Leonardia often does.

But more than arriving on time for appointments, what is really "wang-wangs" primary purpose is the official's security. Imagine if an assassin posts himself in an intersection, waiting for the official's car to stop at a traffic light.

Playing for the crowd is one thing. Being foolish is another.


One other Aquino commitment in his inaugural address is the elimination of middle men for farm products. His speech writer do not know anything about rice trading, otherwise they should not have Aquino mouth this. This is easier said than done. To eliminate middlemen, government procurement must be right in the production site. Presently, the NFA's presence is felt only in the major towns and cities, if at all. So what happens is that rice traders send their agents and their trucks right at the hinterlands where the rice is produced. Worse, even from the cultivation and planting of the rice fields, the farmers already obtain a loan from the traders, committing their produce more than six months away.

So, can Aquino make the NFA physically and financially able to be always present at the production site? Can he have the NFA buy higher than the rice traders? And we're only talking of rice: How about corn? How about copra and all other coconut products? How about bananas and all the other produce of the soil?

What Aquino said in his inaugural address is ideal for the soap box. If he really believed in what he promised, he is in for a massive disappointment. And he may have to eat his words sooner or later.