Nalzaro: Is Capitol really corruption free?

A HUGE tarpaulin with the words, “Corruption-Free Institution” is hanging on the facade of the Capitol building. What does Capitol officials want to impart in that message? That they are not corrupt? That they are honest public servants and incorruptible? That they follow the “daang matuwid” line of the Aquino administration?

Granting that the present Capitol officials are honest, but do they have to advertise that? This is hypocrisy to the highest degree. If Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III is indeed honest, there is no need for him to hype his act. Let the public, especially the taxpayers, recognize his noble intention.

But do they really practice honesty? I doubt it.

The Davide administration is also hounded with anomalies. Though no formal corruption charges have been filed against the governor with the Ombudsman, it does not mean that his administration is corruption free.

What about that Black Pearl bidding? Was there anomaly behind it? They allowed the takeover of the security agency even before the bidding was completed. Why? Members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) allegedly favored Black Pearl because the agency was able to “meet” their demands. But the governor had to scuttle the bidding and ordered a rebidding because of adverse public opinion.

What about the scuttled purchase of heavy equipment? Where can you find a bidding wherein the highest bidder was awarded the contract? Without media and public criticism, I am sure the BAC could have awarded the contract to their favored supplier. But Capitol officials deferred the awarding for reasons only known to them. There were allegations some of them got advance commission. Isn't that corruption?

What about the “Gasa sa Barangay” wherein they gave P1 million to selected and favored barangays in the third district and got back the P750,000? Wasn't that highly irregular?

Davide maybe honest, but what about his trusted people? What about Davide's wife allegedly dipping her fingers in some Capitol activities? Morag hilas ra mo nga magpalimpyo-limpyo. Karong panahon sa eleksiyon, wa mo manawat og amot gikan sa mga negosyante nga dunay personal ug business interests?

***

What's the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) doing to passenger vessels with questionable condition? I received complaints from passengers, for example, regarding Trans-Asia vessels that suffered engine breakdowns while en route to their destinations.

Somebody furnished me with the dates wherein Trans-Asia 9 encountered engine trouble delaying the vessel's arrival from and to its ports of call in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City:

October 2015--delayed arrival in Cagayan de Oro from Cebu due to engine problem. December 2015--failed to serve its route for around a week due to engine trouble. Other instances: Feb. 22, 2016; Feb. 23, 2016; April 15, 2016; April 16, 2016; April 18, 2016; and April 19, 2016.

M/V Trans-Asia 2, which serves the Cebu-Iloilo route, also suffered several engine breakdowns. March 21, 2016--failed to serve the route due to engine trouble. This was during the Holy Week, a peak season. Other instances: March 22, 2016; March 23; March 26; April 19; and April 20.

These frequent engine breakdown put into question the seaworthiness of Trans-Asia's vessels. Basta kanang barko mamatyan og makina, wa na'y kusog ug dali na motakilid kun hapakon og bawod. Kanus-a pa man mo-aksiyon ang taga Marina ani? Unya na kun duna nay disgrasya? Pagka-inutil ning maong ahensiya.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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