Mayor: Opponents are using Senator Poe

BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said on Monday, March 18, that Sen. Grace Poe was only used by his political opponents during her visit here last week.

This, after Poe, who was in Bacolod City last week, questioned one of the city’s priority projects, the Bacolod MassKara Coliseum worth P800 million.

Poe earlier said that Bacolod City, given its large population, should have its own hospital.

“Why a coliseum? Build a hospital instead,” she said.

Leonardia said he believe that it was only a setup by his political opponents for Poe to attend a forum in one of the barangays in Bacolod, which lead to the question on the coliseum.

The mayor said it was a surprise that Poe made that statement, but when they saw her companions during the visit, it was clear that she was deceived.

He called Poe a victim.

Leonardia noted that the forum was organized by his political opponents, the Asenso para sa Buas-damlag sang Bacolodnon-Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan.

“As a general rule, we believe that the candidates for national positions like senators, are supposed to be conscious of local issues. Many of them, like as we also do in our own level, as much as possible, should not dip their fingers into local matters,” Leonardia said.

He said it would be interesting what’s going to happen next.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran also earlier said that he respects Poe’s opinion on the gym.

“It’s her opinion. Maybe she doesn’t know the annual budget of Bacolod City, if we’re the same with Makati City or Metro Manila. We can’t afford to build and manage a hospital,” Familiaran said.

He said the City Government could not afford the hospital and its attached expenses for maintenance, personnel, equipment, among others.

It can be recalled that a civil complaint involving the P1.7 billion loan, which will fund the city’s four flagship projects, was filed in January.

This was a month after the City Council ratified the loan agreement and continuing deed of assignment with a hold-out agreement between the City Government and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Named respondents were Leonardia Familiaran; Councilors Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Sonya Verdeflor, Lady Gles Gonzales-Pallen and Ayesha Joy Villaflor; City Council Secretary Vicente Petierre III; City Treasurer Giovanni Balalilhe; City Budget Officer Maria Imelda Williams; City Accountant Corazon Cardel; and DBP Negros Occidental Lending Center head Bernardo Catillion Jr.

It was former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and businessman Antonio Wong, who filed the civil case for certiorari, prohibition and annulment of contract with a prayer for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and/or preliminary mandatory injunction.


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