THE way Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes is managing the affairs of Talisay City really amazes me. He is like a child still learning to read the alphabet. His administration is topsy-turvy and does not have clear direction. He needs to study more about governance.
Undoubtedly, he is sincere. But he is running the affairs of his city like it is his own company. Imagine employing family members at the City Hall, from his wife, to his children down to his brothers, sisters and in-laws. Of all the chief executives in Cebu province, only JVR, I think, is practicing nepotism.
The issues hounding him are of his own doing. And I expect more to come if he will not learn from his mistakes and won’t study effective management and governance. He will self-destruct.
For example, the cropping up in the past of the controversy over the presidency of the Talisay City College was his own doing. He appointed Dr. Paulus Cañete without authority from the Board of Trustees.
Now, JVR is courting court cases. The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the hiring of the services of a security agency without proper bidding and without authority from the City Council.
Worse, he absorbed the 91 security guards from Black Pearl Security Agency as job order employees. The city government paid the agency even if no contract had been signed.
Using the COA finding, a certain Vicente Cabrera Jr. filed administrative and criminal complaint with the ombudsman against JVR, his son John Yre, who is the city administrator, and the city budget officer. I am not a lawyer, but I find Cabrera’s evidence very solid and credible because it is from COA.
The ombudsman won't have a hard time investigating this case because the evidence is there already. I don't know if JVR consulted lawyers before he made some decisions.
In parrying the impact of Cabrera's complaint, JVR accused the guy of being a pawn of his political rivals. Well, I don't know Cabrera and maybe JVR's suspicion is true.
But that is the wrong way to react to the issue.
Whether Cabrera is being used by his political rivals or not, JVR should have confronted the issue squarely. He should have explained the circumstances behind that “questionable transaction.”
The Capitol recently scuttled the bidding involving Black Pearl, which temporarily took over security matters in the Capitol compound. There were allegations that the bidding was rigged.
But in the case of Talisay, no bidding was conducted and no approval by the city council was sought. This is more questionable.
Now, JVR is courting another court case with his filing of his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He failed to declare all his relatives who are now working under his administration. He only mentioned two when there are more than ten of them. They are working as job order or confidential employees.
Why did JVR omit the names of his relatives? Because people will know that he is practicing nepotism and he is ashamed of it?
John Yre explained that the names of their relatives were not mentioned because they were hired before the deadline of the filing of the SALN. What was filed was supposed to be JVR's 2013 SALN.
Again, they are fooling the people of Talisay. What newly hired relatives were they talking about when all these relatives were hired when JVR assumed office a year ago?
The SALN is an official document and is under oath. If it is proven that JVR misdeclared his SALN, he might be charged with perjury.
I won't be surprised if Cabrera goes back to the ombudsman to file another case against JVR. All he has to do is secure JVR's SALN and then get a certification from the human resource development office on the list of JVR's relatives working in city
Remember that former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona was impeached because he lied in his SALN. Labad na pod ulo ni JVR ani. Ako lang tambag nimo Mayor JVR, hunahunaa sa makadaghan ug pangunsulta sa mga batid sa balaod sa dili ka pa mohimo ug mga lakang aron dili na masyakoy.