“Success produces confidence; confidence relaxes industry, and negligence ruins the reputation which accuracy had raised.” Ben Jonson
By Alex P. Vidal
MAYOR Geefre “Kalay” Alonsabe of Alimodian, Iloilo, a Liberal Party (LP) member, was the lone municipal mayor who joined Iloilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. when Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, a PDP-Laban stalwart and rumored presidential aspirant, visited the Iloilo Provincial Capitol on Friday morning.
If the LP hierarchy is not jealous, it will not sanction Alonsabe, who seemed to be more excited and interested only on Duterte as a tough guy or a macho man, than as a potential rival of LP’s presumed standard bearer in 2016, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mar Roxas.
Alonsabe’s personal admiration for Duterte does not mean he is willing to shift allegiance from LP to PDP-Laban.
Admiration is different from loyalty.
He admires Duterte but his loyalty is still probably with Roxas.
Currently scouring for more grassroots support, Duterte would love to be adopted by Alonsabe and other Iloilo mayors who are mostly LP allies.
Duterte did not have any idea, of course, that Alonsabe, an aggressive and popular public servant, is facing a graft case in the Ombudsman for the release of P3.241-million fertilizer funds in 2004 to a cooperative linked to former Iloilo second district congressman Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr.
Duterte’s campaign in Western Visayas is expected to snowball with the help of his well-respected regional coordinator, Rotarian and lawyer Hansel Didulo.
If the mea culpa committed recently by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the enforcement of the wheel clamping ordinance happened when the city mayor was Mansueto Malabor, the city council would have been up in arms.
Malabor could not commit an error without being bamboozled by opposition leader Councilor Perla Zulueta (now a consultant of Mabilog).
Under a vigilant and confrontational city council then, debates and conflicts were healthy signs that our government officials were doing their job.
With the executive and legislative branches engaging in a Punch and Judy show, media had a field day.
That’s how the check and balance worked if the two branches of government—executive and legislative—are independent of each other.
Thanks to the 12-0 win of the Liberal Party city council bets in the 2013 local elections, nobody will be willing to rap partymate and political benefactor Mabilog in the knuckles.
What happened was an honest mistake, according to Mabilog.
Because of the volumes of papers that the city mayor regularly signs on his table, he “mistakenly” inked his signature on the MOA with 3L company, which should have been forwarded first to the General Services Office (GSO).
As a matter of procedure, GSO would have to look first for 3L company’s competitors before any agreement was signed.
The signed document would then be sent to the city council for confirmation.
Because the cart was pushed ahead of the horse, Mabilog is asking the city council to cancel the agreement.
In the first place, if City Administrator Norlito Bautista and other officials in the city mayor’s office were doing their job, Mabilog would have been spared of this very fundamental error and the inconvenience of facing a backlash from critics.
It’s the task of the city administrator and the executive assistants to screen the papers, especially the MOAs, being stockpiled on the city mayor’s table.
The staff’s fatal negligence can bring unnecessary delays on important transactions and embarrassment to the executive office.
Heads must roll.
“What will happen to our country if Binay becomes the president?”
This was the straight and frank reply made by former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol when retired Philippine News Agency (PNA) Iloilo chief Neonita “Mommy Nitz” Gobuyan” asked him pointblank: “Ngaa nagabira bira ka gid kampanya kay Mayor Duterte? (Why are you working so hard campaigning for Mayor Duterte?)
Gobuyan, who recently told Vice President Jejomar Binay in a chance meeting in Iloilo that Binay would be the next president of the country, asked the question to Pinol when they met inside the office of Gov. Defensor on Friday.