Nalzaro: Change at the Capitol

DEPARTMENT heads have been told to submit their courtesy resignation letters to reelected Gov. Hilario Davide III so he can implement changes in the Provincial Government. No one would be fired or terminated but the governor can now come up with changes in the Capitol's organizational structure as he begins serving his second term on June 30.

It was Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino who brought up the courtesy resignation idea during a meeting among department heads last Monday. But those who hold regular positions were exempted. Most of the officials whose appointments were co-terminus with that of the governor obliged. If Davide accepts their resignation then the concerned department heads will be given other functions on top of their present work.

Is this aimed at streamlining the bureaucracy or is this in line with Davide's policy of “tuwid na daan” considering the allegations that there are unscrupulous department heads at the Capitol? But I doubt if the governor is really serious in his move because if he purges Capitol of the corrupt, some of his close friends who are working with him will be hit.

Most of the people working with Davide are his classmates from the University of the Philippines, his former law office associates and his town mates from Argao. Idol gyud niya si President Noynoy Aquino nga mikuha sab sa iyang mga kaibigan, kaklase at kabarilan.

Here is my unsolicited advise to the governor if he is really serious in his pronouncements. Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino, Provincial legal officer Orvi Ortega, General Services chief Jone Sepe and Penro chief Chad Estella should be stripped of their functions and given another assignment that has nothing to do with bidding, procurement, police matters and issuance of licenses and permits.

Here are the reasons.

In the case of Tolentino, he is the alter ego of the governor and anything he says would be considered the stand of the governor. He can even name-drop the governor anytime. Tolentino was the chairman of the bids and awards committee (BAC) for the purchase of the P250- million worth of heavy equipment.

I don't know what happened to that issue after it was referred to the committee on laws in the Provincial Board following a recommendation by a review committee. But do you think there was no hankypanky in a deal wherein the highest bidder was the one awarded the contract?

Sepe was a member of the BAC and was one of those who canvassed the suppliers that participated in the bidding. He was with Cubar, a close friend of Davide's wife, Jobelle, and a Capitol consultant on procurement. Kana sila si Sepe ug Cubar mao nay partner kung dunay palitunon nga mga equipment ang Kapitolyo. Sila nay tig-canvass. Mga suod na silang Jobelle.

Sources within Sepe's office told me that he allegedly was able to buy a brand new vehicle months after he was appointed to his position. The vehicle is now in his hometown in Bohol.

Ortega, a town mate of Davide from Argao, was the chairman of the BAC in that controversial bidding for the security provider for the Capitol and its satellite offices. The bidding was won by Black Pearl Security Agency under questionable circumstances. It then took over the security matters at the Capitol even if the contract has yet to be awarded.

Davide was forced to cancel the bidding. Modesty aside, I was the first to expose the questionable transaction and Ortega threatened to sue me with libel. Eventually, he was forced to resign from the BAC but did not resign from being a legal officer.

Estellla, who is the son of my late friend, the former priest Joe Estella, was also accused of doing shenanigans. Estella's group allegedly apprehends trucks loaded with sand and gravel even if the haulers have complete papers. Dugay-dugayon sad og release ang mga permits sa mga applikante nga mga haulers.

Pangutan-a ninyo si kanhi Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7 regional director ug kanhi Mactan Cebu International Airport general manager Al Allere bahin ani.

Mao nang maka-ingon kong naghilas-hilas lang si Junjun bitay-bitay anang streamer diha atubangan sa Kapitolyo nga nagkanayon: “This is a corruption-free institution.” Corruption-free sa imong mata.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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