“Never do today what you can do tomorrow. Something may occur to make you regret your premature action.” Aaron Burr
By Alex P. Vidal
THE constant power blackouts experienced by residents of Iloilo City these past weeks didn’t augur well with the metropolis’ forthcoming hosting of the two Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings in September and October this year.
In 1993, when the Panay Electric Company (PECO) sought for a renewal of its franchise for another 25 years, a feisty cooperative group threatened to block PECO’s application if it could not assure the local consumers of a sustained and uninterrupted power supply for the next 25 years.
The cooperative group’s swashbuckling opposition came to a screeching halt when the power firm’s application for renewal of franchise went on a smooth sailing in the Iloilo City Council and in the House of Representatives.
Now that Iloilo City is in the thick of preparation for the important international confabs, PECO is giving the Ilonggos legitimate reasons to be jittery by the off and on power blackouts.
IT’S very apparent that June Mondejar is using his power and privilege as a member of the Iloilo Provincial Board to get undue advantage in his vitriol against Iloilo second district Rep. Arcadio “Cadio” Gorriceta.
If Mondejar did not reveal his intention to run against Gorriceta in 2016, people would not suspect that he was already launching a premature campaign assault to disparage the neophyte congressman from Pavia, Iloilo.
In his privilege speech on Tuesday’s regular session of the Iloilo Provincial Board, Mondejar scored Gorriceta for claiming credits in the implementation of various infrastructure projects in the second district of Iloilo by placing his name on the billboards.
Mondejar, a former mayor of New Lucena, bewailed: “When the old box culvert at Sayang, Baclayan in New Lucena was replaced with new box culvert with a bigger cross-sectional area, there was a printed name of a congressman. People believe or agree that it is his project because of the billboard. But, is it really his project? What effort did he exert so that this project was implemented on that part of the second district? Do not lie. Be honest.”
Since the speech was neither an expose involving an anomalous transaction and misuse of public funds, nor an inquiry on questionable deals “in aid of legislation”, Mondejar’s speech sounded like a premature campaign soliloquy.
If Gorriceta will also use his privilege hour in congress to blast Mondejar as a tit-for-tat, public service will derail.
If Mondejar wants to devote his time attacking his future rival for a congressional seat in the second district of Iloilo, he must resign as a board member and buy a radio blocktime program at a risk of electioneering.
A privilege speech in any legislative body—local or national–should not be wasted and exploited to launch a political assault and promote a political agenda.
ILOILO provincial administrator, Dr. Raul Banias, is reportedly being prepared to spoil former Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) administrator Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr’s bid to become vice governor in 2016.
No serious contender against Gov. Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. has been spotted in Iloilo’s gubernatorial radar in 2016 except, perhaps, perennial loser Toto Serapio Camposano (Independent).
Thus all eyes are in 2019 when Defensor will be prevented by the constitution from seeking a fourth term.
The hypothesis is that Defensor will walk away unscathed for his third and last term in 2016.
As a matter of strategy, anyone who wants to be remembered by voters in 2019 must secure a mandate in 2016 as the next three years will be crucial for name recall.
Garin Sr., an astute political strategist, must have anticipated this.
He is aware that former Iloilo fourth district congressman, Dr. Ferjenel Biron, has been patiently waiting for Defensor’s three terms to expire in 2019 and shoot for the slammer.
If Garin Sr. won’t make his move earlier, the well-rested and well-oiled Biron will decimate him.
Garin has been reportedly trying to inch his way to Defensor’s graces in a hope to secure the dream Defensor-Garin tandem in 2016.
If he wins as vice governor, Garin will be a breath away from the office of the governor.
As Vice Governor Garin, he will have leverage over his rivals, including Biron, for governor in 2019.
But it appears Defensor isn’t yet ready for a political marriage with Garin Sr. although they both belong in the Liberal Party.
The grapevine says Defensor is eyeing Banias, not Garin Sr. as his runningmate in 2016.