Nalzaro: Capitol’s 'daang matuwid'

DURING his campaign sortie in Toledo City the other day, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas mentioned the controversial Balili property purchase during the administration of former governor now Third District Rep. Gwen Garcia. Roxas said that under the administration’s daang matuwid anomalies like the purchase of a lot under water will never happen. “Hindi katulad ng pagbili ng lupa, pagpunta mo nasa ilalim ng dagat, hindi mataniman, hindi matayuan ng bahay dahil nasa ilalim ng dagat. Walang ganyan sa daan matuwid. Ang pera ng tao binabalik namin ng buong-buo.”

Gwen and some Capitol’s department heads are facing charges before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of the 24.7-hectare property in Tinaan, City of Naga worth P98 million, most of which is under water. No feasibility study was conducted on how to use the lot.

Members of the Provincial Board (PB) authorized Gwen to make the transaction but its members were not included in the charge except for former PB member Juan Bolo who brokered the deal.

Look who’s talking? Poor Roxas does not know what’s happening at the Provincial Capitol under his ally’s stewardship, Gov. Junjun Davide III. Davide’s administration is hounded by corruption issues. Is that matuwid na daan? Although no charges have been filed yet, Davide’s “trusted men” are into shenanigans. Remember the Black Pearl Security Agency controversy? Or the hiring of the consultancy firm to construct a building inside the Capitol at such a bloated amount? His Penro chief, Atty. Chad Estella, has been accused of extortion by sand and gravel haulers. And what about the bidding of the P250-million worth of heavy equipment?

Do these issues conform with President Noynoy Aquino’s “daang matuwid” policy? Tell that to the dead marines in Mindanao Mr. Roxas but not to the Cebuanos.

***

The LP did it to San Fernando Mayor Abe Canoy, Talisay City Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, Lapu-Lapu City mayoral candidate Efraim Pelaez Jr. and to the party’s original members in Ronda town. The party did it again to Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes and to their candidates in the City of Naga. The administration party has no principle and “palabra de honor,” or word of honor.

Roxas and his number one campaigner President Aquino did not acknowledge Mayor JVR and his delegation from Talisay during the party’s rally in Mandaue City the other day when JVR is the official candidate of the party. The same thing with the Naga delegates headed by its mayoral candidate Venci del Mar.

Before the official national campaign period started, LP Cebu chapter headed by Governor Davide abandoned Canoy and Villarante in favor of the Gullases in the first district. It also dropped Pelaez like a hot potato when the Radazas joined the party. Original party members in Ronda headed by reelectionist Councilor Rogelio “Rolly” dela Cruz were also abandoned when Mayor Nonie Blanco, formerly from One Cebu party, joined the administration party.

JVR plans to support another presidential candidate while del Mar’s group already bolted to One Cebu, supporting the candidacy of its gubernatorial candidate Winston Garcia.

I think it’s the best thing they can do while there is still time to do it. Why remain loyal to a party when the party does not need you because it prefers another local aggrupation. Maybe Roxas thinks the Gullases can deliver more votes for him than JVR in Talisay. Prove it later Mr. JVR that Roxas committed a big blunder in dropping you. Imo unya ang katapusang katawa, Johnny.

Davide said he is going to court disgruntled party members. Nangluod ra na sila. Nangluod lagi kay ikaw mismo wala makadepensa kanila nga unta hugtanon man silang misuporta kanimo ug sa partido. Wa pod kay ayo nga leader, duko lang ka ug magpa-awot sa taas ug wala gyud ka modepensa ug molaban kanila. Maayo pod ka i-junk uy.

***

Last week, I discussed in my program over dySS Super Radyo about the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) about the hiring of consultants at the Capitol, which COA found to be “redundant.” I encountered the name of Mr. Raul Puentespina as one of those listed as consultants. Mr. Puentespina, who is based in Hong Kong, e-mailed me to clarify matters his status. Here’s his letter:

“Just to clarify, I am a volunteer consultant... to conduct financial literacy training for employees and the retirees of the Provincial Capitol to help them manage their personal finances. I attached herewith my one-peso a year contract for your reference.

I don’t sell or endorse any product or service and I do this for free. This is my way of giving back to Cebu and my little contribution to our country. I started this advocacy in Hong Kong since 2007 to our OFWs with the registered Charity Enrich HK.”

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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