Tag Archives: Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta

Premature campaign soliloquy

“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.


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Malones has the last laugh

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” George S. Patton

By Alex P. Vidal

IN soccer, they call it a “hat-trick” or a head goal.
In stopping the suspension order against him, embattled Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones scored a hat-trick against the Iloilo Provincial Board and his political enemies who have written him off as early as September this year.
Malones was found guilty of simple misconduct by the Iloilo Provincial Board with a penalty of suspension for three months over the administrative case filed by an illegally terminated assistant human resource officer of the Maasin municipal government last September.
He filed an appeal before the Office of the President in Malacanang which “stayed” his suspension.
Signed by Deputy Executive Secretary Michael G. Aguinaldo, the order stated: “Pursuant to Section 9 of Administrative Order No. 22 series of 2011, the execution of the assailed Resolutions is hereby stayed.”
Since the order presented to the Iloilo Provincial Board was a certified copy, Vice Governor Raul Tupas said they will wait for the official transmission of the order from Malacanang.


The order meant Malones would stay in his office and the suspension order is either held in abeyance or terminated.
Whatever it is, Malones has scored a moral and psychological victory against his adversaries.
The rescue order from Malacanang also proved that the local legislature does not have absolute power to rule against or in favor of local elected officials facing administrative cases.
That it is not yet end of the world for any local chief executive found guilty of simple or even serious misconduct.
Because there is still a big brother somewhere out there for the rescue.
When the Iloilo Provincial Board meted the suspension order on Malones, only two members voted against the resolution: Ninfa Garin and Dennis Valencia, all from the first district of Iloilo.
Two others abstained: Licurgo Tirador (third district) and Shalene Palmares-Hidalgo (fourth district).
In the 2016 elections, Malones, one of the most influential and strongest political leaders in the third district of Iloilo, will definitely remember their names.
And the names of those who voted to suspend him.


Unlike former congressmen Salvador “Badong” Cabaluna Jr.(partylist) and Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco (Iloilo second district) who were overexposed in media before Iloilo second district Rep. Arcadio “Cadio” Gorriceta trounced them in the 2013 congressional elections, Iloilo Board Member June Mondejar is considered as wet-behind-the-ears in as far as bigger political battles are concerned.
Mondejar, younger brother of former TESDA Regional Director Buen or “Bokbok”, was municipal mayor of New Lucena for three terms and was never in the limelight in all the years of his muted political career.
Until he announced he would challenge Gorriceta in 2016.
Even outside the second district of Iloilo, curious Ilonggos were now starting to talk about Mondejar, not because they were familiar with the youthful-looking board member, but because they were startled by his guts to disclose his political plans at the time when no one was discussing about politics.
But now that the cat is out of the bag, Mondejar’s moves will now be monitored and misconstrued as part of his preparatory steps for a possible showdown with Gorriceta, the best friend of Senate President Franklin Drilon.


Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog suspended classes in elementary and secondary levels both in public and private schools yesterday (November 27) afternoon due to heavy downpour brought by typhoon Queenie.
“Despite that the water level of iloilo river & creeks are still within n0rmal level and water level inside iloilo city natl hi sch minimal and also All roads and bridges are passable & No evacuees reportd. Upon the advise of Mr. Darwin Papa that Typhoon Queenie is gaining strength and may hit ground this pm, together with Schools Division Superintendent Nelly Valerio, I Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Mayor of Iloilo City under the General Welfare Act do hereby declare the suspension of classes in all elementary and secondary levels for both public and private schools in the afternoon of today November 27, 2014. Classes for College level depends on their respective school heads,” Mabilog wrote in his Facebook account.

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Posted by on December 3, 2014 in POLITICS


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Garin can halt abusive Gorriceta from harassing Sanitarium execs

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
Napoleon Hill

By Alex P. Vidal

As acting secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), we believe that Undersecretary Janette Loreto-Garin can save the Western Visayas Sanitarium (WVS) in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo from being bamboozled by abusive politicians like Iloilo second district Rep. Arcadio “Cadio” Gorriceta.
Technically, Gorriceta, a sycophant of Senate President Franklin Drilon, has no business dipping his fingers into the affairs of Sanitarium.
Weeks after he threatened to yank out Dr. Annabelle De Guzman as WVS chief, Gorriceta got his wishes: De Guzman has been relieved of her position and now reports in the DOH regional office headed by Director Marlyn Convocar.
De Guzman’s fault was she crossed the path of the influential Gorriceta when she and her fellow Sanitarium officials did not agree with the congressman’s recommendation to change the orientation of the WVS’ P25-million hospital ward extension project.
The neophyte solon was insisting that the extension project must take into consideration the P137-million Sta. Barbara-San Miguel access road project and the presence of an ongoing residential project.


De Guzman stood her ground and argued that the ward extension has been approved by the DOH central office and that WVS is just the implementer.
De Guzman’s recalcitrance did not sit well with the powerful congressman from Pavia, Iloilo who reportedly blew his top and vowed to show the Sanitarium chief who’s the boss.
De Guzman’s “ouster” from Sanitarium was followed suit by a series of controversial revamps.
The first to be axed was Elmer Herrera Jr., WVS administrative officer, who was reassigned to the Supply Section.
Herrera was replaced by Diomedes Punsalan of the DOH-6 regional office.
Part of Herrera’s task is now to make an inventory of all the WVS supplies and equipment.
Herrera’s transfer is effective on October 24, 2014 until November 24, 2014.
The Daily Guardian reported November 3 that in a letter to Convocar dated October 27, 2014, Herrera likened his transfer to constructive dismissal as his new assignment is actually under his supervision.
“Citing the revised organization structure and staffing standards for government hospitals, Herrera pointed out that he is the highest ranking official in the hospital operations and patient support service with an equivalent rank of division head,” the Daily Guardian reported.


Although his hands are invisible in the ongoing Sanitarium revamp, observers believe Gorriceta may have something to do with what is going on in the reassignment of WVS officials.
Loreto-Garin can actually revert back the assignments of concerned officials to a status quo.
Reassignments are normal both in private and government offices.
But they should not be tainted with suspicions of political arm-twisting tactics employed by abusive politicians who want to force something to the throats of lowly regional-level officials.
In the first place, Gorriceta is supposed to enact laws in the legislative branch.
He is not supposed to interfere with the projects implemented by the executive branch. Unless Gorriceta wants to favor certain contractors who are willing to share a big chunk of the project pie.
At this point, only acting DOH Secretary Loreto-Garin can clip the wings of Gorriceta and save the Sanitarium from the ruins of dirty politicians.
Loreto-Garin has the power to institute whatever reforms in the DOH, not a politician like Gorriceta.

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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in POLITICS


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