“Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — I have misgivings with reports that former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will endorse local candidates in the top positions in the May 2019 elections.
Since he is not running for any elective position (his dismissal is under appeal in the Supreme Court, according to his wife, Marivic) next year, it’s doubtful if he will issue an official statement endorsing certain candidates.
Why risk antagonizing one group for endearment of another if you can maintain a peace of mind and a stress-free life while watching the political cockfighting in the safe confines of the splendid Canadian territory and far away from the wreckage and bloodbath?
Why stir the hornet’s nest and end up exposing yourself to be stung by the “unforgiving” and “ungrateful” bees?
Some Mabilog supporters who are still undecided have been anxiously waiting for his go signal.
Many of them still conjure up a bedazzling scenario of their idol staging a “surprise” comeback any moment during the election season.
There are village officials, youth leaders, and city hall officials and rank-and-file workers loyal to Mabilog who are smiling at Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and Rep. Jerry Treñas like bosom friends, but, deep inside, their hearts are still for the self-exiled enemy of President Duterte.
If Mabilog won’t endorse anyone in Iloilo City, no one can blame him.
In fact, he isn’t morally and politically obliged to raise some hands in the coming elections.
He isn’t beholden politically to any Tom, Dick, and Harry.
And besides, where were they when he needed them most?
Malversation of public funds has many forms, stripes, and faces.
There is actually another source of graft and corruption in the Philippine government: cash advance.
Corrupt government officials always find the calamities, other natural disasters, hosting of events, and out-of-town or foreign trips as the perfect opportunities to enrich themselves.
When there is no limit for these rascals to ask for cash advance, it is easy to fill their pockets.
Others become instant millionaires by indulging in indiscriminate cash advances.
Although they are required by the law to liquidate their “expenses”, many dishonest government officials submit liquidation papers that have been “doctored” or supporting documents with tampered or bogus receipts and signatures.
Many of them intentionally delay their liquidation report; sometimes it takes years before their shenanigan is uncovered, when another administration has taken over.
Other thieves in government with unique talent and guts steal the salaries and allowances of job hires or casual workers through cash advances.
That’s why we need a no non-sense Commission on Audit (COA) officials who will never succumb to pressures, coercion, and back-door manipulations.
COA auditors must be independent, fearless, and committed to safeguard the taxpayers’ money.
COA auditors must have strong moral and family values in order to dodge temptations.
They must reject gifts, freebies and expensive goodies, and other material favors from incumbent officials with direct access to the cookie jars.
COA auditors who waltz with corrupt government officials are coddling graft and corruption and should be booted out from office before they could play footsie and resurrect more Frankensteins in the civil service.