Tag Archives: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Defensor: Lucero is an honest  man, some of his men aren’t

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.” George Washington

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. described Engr. Gracianito Lucero, chief of the Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) as “an honest man.”

Honest ini sia nga tawo. Dugay ko na ini sia kilala. I trust this man, but not some of his men. Damu gid man dira kawatan kag gina pa imbistigar naton ina (He is an honest man. I have known him for a long time. I trust this man but not some of his men who are really thieves. And that’s why I am investigating them),” Defensor told me in front of Lucero inside the governor’s office on Friday morning.

The governor was referring to the “pa-ihi” or fuel pilferage scam allegedly committed by some corrupt PEO employees.

Defensor has tasked Provincial Administrator Raul Banas to leave no stone unturned in the investigation.

“We are now doing the investigation,” Dr. Banas told me.

Executive Assistant Ruel Von Superio confirmed that “there is an ongoing investigation.”

Broadcaster Ibrahim Calanao, meanwhile, has owned up to the “pa-ihi” expose.

“Ako sina una nag expose, Lex. Ulihi na lang ina ang write-up mo. Dugay ko na ina gina hambal sa radyo. Ang iban nga truck didto gapa amolya sa patyo sang Janiuay ho. Didto nila ginapasuyupan gasoline ang tangke. (I was the one who first made that expose. Your write-up came later. I have been announcing this anomaly in my radio program. Some of the trucks were brought to a cemetery in Janiuay where the fuel pilferage was done),” Calanao said.

Lucero, by the way, told me his wife, who is a doctor, owns the “expensive” vehicle referred to by a source in my previous column.


My visit in the governor’s office on Friday morning actually coincided only while Defensor was waiting for Lucero to arrive.

They had an important meeting regarding the “pa-ihi” imbroglio.

Defensor showed strong eagerness to rid the PEO with corrupt elements.

I went there together with former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol, who asked me to accompany him and his brother, Mlang, Cotabato Mayor Joselito, in his second visit to Defensor in one week.

Pinol, who was there two days earlier, was head of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s advance party in the courtesy call to Defensor.

I was not part of Duterte’s activities in Iloilo.

I came only because of Pinol, my long-time colleague in sports writing (we first met in 1991 during the House committee on youth and sports hearing on alleged sports anomalies when Pinol was still writing for Tempo, sister publication of Manila Bulletin).

Pinol, who dabbles as boxing manager, and I last met in Las Vegas three years ago when Manny Pacquiao lost by KO5 against Juan Manuel Marquez.

“This is your first visit in my office since I became governor (for the second time),” Defensor told me.


WE support the call of the Animal Welfare Association (AWA) of Iloilo headed by Anna Marie Rivera Wharton to halt the use of carbon monoxide poisoning via the “tambutso” or car exhaust in exterminating stray dogs and cats.

City Veterinarian Tomas Forteza has confirmed the practice in a radio interview, according to Wharton in her letter dated February 23, 2015.

Wharton’s expose surprised Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who admitted “he has no idea of a humane method of killing stray animals that is lawfully acceptable.”

Mabilog referred the matter to Dr. Forteza and asked him to “research and check on the methods that may not be considered afoul with the law.”

Republic Act. No. 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998) mandates that “the killing of animals shall be done through humane procedure at all times.”

Humane procedure, under the law, “shall mean the use of the scientific method available as may be determined and approved by the committee (Committee on Animal Welfare).”

The law does not, however, specify these scientific methods, according to a recent article written by Wenceslao Mateo.

“But is killing of stray animals by carbon monoxide suffocation lawfully acceptable and a scientific method?” asked the article.

The article added: “A news report abroad reveals that carbon monoxide killing of stray animals, especially those in shelters, is outlawed in the US states of California, Tennessee, Maryland and Rhode Island.

“Also, both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States reject killing by carbon monoxide.

“They observed that carbon monoxide poisoning causes animals to suffer horribly while they are slowly suffocated, and often scream and go into convulsions while struggling for air.”

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in POLITICS


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Mabilog admits mistake; Duterte visits Defensor

“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.

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in POLITICS


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