“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” George Washington
By Alex P. Vidal
Is it unsafe to do business or run for public office in Roxas City or in Capiz Province if one is associated or identified with the country’s most controversial politician, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay?
Or is it a scourge for any Capiznon to be a friend of Binay?
Roxas City and Capiz Province are known bailiwicks of DILG boss Mar Roxas, who was bundled out by Binay in the previous vice presidential contest.
It appears the two political behemoths are heading for a rematch in 2016, this time for the presidency of the land.
Thus Roxas and his subalterns probably become increasingly jealous politically each time Binay, otherwise known as “Rambotete” (a calumny for the diminutive former Makati mayor who carried an Uzi machine gun ala “Ramboo” with a protruding tummy at the height of coup d’etat during the administration of the late President Cory Aquino), is seen hobnobbing with Capiz businessmen and political leaders.
With the national elections fast approaching, Binay’s Capiz friends, even in the business sector, are starting to feel the heat.
We missed by the skin of the teeth the press conference called by businessman Joaquin ”Toto” Dumagpi at the Kapis Mansions last September 25 in Roxas City, Capiz.
We were with visiting Chicago-based balikbayan couple Rufino and Aurea Canong, retired Army Maj. Lyle Tugbang and wife Baby, and Roberto “Bob” De la Cruz.
The Canong husband and wife are friends of
Dumagpi, president and chief executive officer of the Roxas City-based Kapis Development Corp. (KDC), from way back in the 90’s in the United States.
Dumagpi was protesting the apparent “delaying tactics” employed by the City Hall’s licensing division in the processing of Kapis Mansions’ business permit.
The businessman lamented that his establishment’s business permit has not been released since they first applied for renewal in January this year.
The delay has incurred Kapis Mansions millions of pesos in losses as the hotel was supposed to host the national convention of the Department of Health (DOH).
Without a business permit, the hotel cannot make a transaction with government agencies like the DOH.
Dumagpi said Carmen Andrade, city government consultant on economic affairs, wanted them to “add 15 percent” to their 2013 gross sales.
Dumagpi insisted his papers were in order and complete.
After a meeting with Dumagpi’s representative last Oct. 3, Andrade gave Kapis Mansions one week to fully declare its income or pay the city government in lieu of audit.
Dumagpi suspected that the pressure his establishment has been enduring from the city government could have something to do with his ties with Binay.
He admitted that Binay has been a regular guest at Kapis Mansions. This must have inconvenienced some characters allied with Secretary Roxas, he surmised.
incidentally, Binay has a not-so-pleasant relationship with Roxas City Mayor Alan Celino.
There was already a bad blood between the two even before Sec. Roxas became Binay’s political adversary.
During the presidential campaign in 2004, then Vice Mayor Celino had a violent verbal spat with Binay, who was campaigning for the late Fernando Poe Jr. against Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Binay protested the alleged shabby treatment Celino gave Susan Roces when she campaigned for FPJ in Roxas City.
Binay and Celino called each other names on national TV and their feud worsened when Celino challenged Binay to a fistfight after Binay allegedly called Celino “amo” (ape).
Was Dumagpi caught in the middle of all these political hullabaloos?