“Murder’s out of tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh.”
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Othello
By Alex P. Vidal
WHILE walking inside the La Paz Public Market in La Paz district, Iloilo City last Monday night, I overheard in a loud radio set inside a billiards hall former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel “Boy M” Mejorada while being interviewed by Aksyon Radyo anchorman Joecel Banias.
Mejorada said he was ready to appear in the Senate blue ribbon committee that will investigate the alleged overpriced construction of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).
Mejorada has filed plunder and graft complaints against Senate President Franklin Drilon, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and six other government officials and private individuals in relation to the P700-million project before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Although Drilon, who hails from Molo district, Iloilo City, has expressed willingness to inhibit himself in the soon-to-be announced committee hearing prompted by a resolution filed by fellow Ilonggo Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mejorada said he prefers to see Drilon in the senate hearing “so we can discuss the issue face to face.”
Mejorada insisted there was overprice in the mega project and respondent Drilon must be held accountable for the alleged loss of P488 million from the coffers of the government.
Drilon has denied the allegations of his former Twitter handler and media consultant for Iloilo.
When Banias asked Mejorada if he has received threats in his life considering that he stirred the hornet’s nest involving big names in Philippine politics, Mejorada, who first served as executive assistant of former Iloilo Governor Neil D. Tupas before being promoted as provincial administrator in 2006, quipped: “Ila man ina grupo a (It’s also their own group).”
Mejorada said “God will protect me” if indeed He believes in Mejorada’s crusade against graft and corruption.
During the 2013 local elections when he campaigned against Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Mejorada claimed that certain characters, some of them members of drug syndicates, wanted to kill him.
Some of those who allegedly wanted him dead aired their threats via the social media and even showed the weapon they intended to use against Mejorada.
He identified an alleged drug lord in Brgy. Muelle Loney, City Proper as one of those who are itching to shoot him if their paths will cross.
Mejorada walked with a bodyguard most of the time until after Mabilog was reelected overwhelmingly.
If Mejorada was saying that the persons allegedly interested to kill him belong to “the same group”, was he insinuating that some of those included in the plunder and graft raps were allies of the drug lords who wanted him dead during the heat of the 2013 local elections?
We are concerned that some of Mejorada’s enemies might take advantage of his rift with Drilon, et al and harm him (God forbid) while he is in the thick of battle against the respondents of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) brouhaha.
When so many people want to eliminate a certain individual, chances are his most recent enemies will be blamed.
We know that Drilon, a national figure and a potential presidential aspirant, is not a violent person.
We can’t speak the same for other characters caught in the web of the imbroglio and those sympathetic to the senate big man.
Now that the issue has exploded into horrific proportions and is now known worldwide, killing or attempting to kill Mejorada at this time will only complicate matters.