Local news: Political Rigodon in City? Ramos, Bais, Espino Decide to Break Away from Leonardia-Sayson Camp
A political split between the majority party which controls City Hall, immediately looms with the formation of another political faction composed of Councilors Dindo Ramos, Al Victor Espino and Homer Bais, all of whom are to graduate from the City Council next year, 2013.
The information was relayed to this reporter by whistleblower and stormy petrel Romy Niere who, at presstime was with the aforementioned councilors in the Pandanon Village Resort, owned by the Espino family.
Initial data elicited by NNF/NDB indicated that Ramos may throw his hat into the electoral ring come 2013 and will try his luck as vice-mayor, while former broadcaster Homer Bais will run as congressman for the congressional seat in the lone district of Bacolod against Mayor Evelio Leonardia who will run as congressman. Incumbent Congressman Dr. Anthony Golez would be one of the three candidates in Bacolod with Bais disclosing his candidacy for the post.
Niere, who related the information, said the erstwhile Grupo Progreso stalwarts were dismayed after former Vice-Mayor and Congressional bet Renecito Novero may run as Vice-Mayoral running mate of Jude Thaddeus Sayson.
The erstwhile Grupo Progreso stalwarts will try to entice the opposition councilors of the former MONOPAL coalition, namely councilors Archie Baribar, Sonia Verdeflor, El Cid Familiaran and Elmer Sy to join the alliance and to run for the same posts. Another member of MONOPAL, Catalino Alisbo, will leave the SP because his term is up after having served for nine years or three terms.
But Councilor Archie Baribar has made no secret of his desire to also run as vice-mayor next year. That being the case, he may reject the group’s offer.
The three councilors will try to convince Councilor Roberto Rojas to join them in one of the biggest re-alignments leading to next year’s election. Rojas still has one term or three years as eligible councilor if he runs for the same position next year. But some quarters are also convincing him to run as vice-mayor. But with Novero in place, Rojas has to make a decision on where he would place himself soon.
With Bais’ entry into the congressional race, it will be a three-way contest in this category, with the biggest fight for congressman expected between Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Dr. Anthony Golez, both also former erstwhile allies.
But political pundits say, Bais could be the big spoiler for Leonardia as he could divulge many hitherto anomalous details about the Leonardia administration.
In another report, Leonardia’s close aide Marlon "Nonoy" Amago was reportedly "smarting" after being scolded following the Mayor having reportedly grabbed his shirt by the neck after seeing him in the presence of Renecito Novero in a lunchtime activity at the Forest Park.
But it was just an elaborate "soap opera" to make it appear that he was in disagreement with Novero having been chosen vice-mayoralty bet for Sayson who will run as mayor in 2013.
There is now an emerging three political aggrupations come the May 2013 electoral contest in Bacolod City, convoluted as it is.
Information sourced by NNF/NDB indicated that the Liberal Party (LP)-Bacolod chapter will also field candidates for councilors in the coming elections.
Among those who have decided to throw his hat into the proverbial political ring as councilor is whistleblower Reynaldo "Butch" Ebreo.*
City Accountant Questions Dismissal Order by Ombudsman
One of the city hall employees meted dismissal by Ombudsman-Visayas, Eduardo Ravena, city accountant, questions the fairness of such decision. He said, out of 9 vouchers allegedly tampered, he only signed one during the administration of former mayor Joy Valdez.
Hence,he filed a motion for reconsideration with the Office of the Ombudsman, asking to reverse and set aside its 2007decision, with a new one entered declaring the dismissal of the case against him for lack of merit.
The dismissal stemmed from the case filed by the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office VI against Management and Audit Service Office officer-in-charge Ricardo Dahildahil Jr., Crafts and Trade helper Salvacion Ortega, Accountant IV Eduardo Ravena, Office of the City Treasurer Clerk II Lalaine Villalva, former Executive Assistant Renato Rojo and former City Accountant Pioquito Quinones.
Ravena said, because he signed the P38,400 check reimbursed to former Mayor Luzviminda Valdez, he was ordered dismissed.
He said, he presumed that everything was in order especially that there were no obvious alterations in the vouchers, and the receipts had no erasures. All the documents were complete and there was an inspection and acceptance report. Also attached was the attendance of the participants since the occasion was the Lakbay Laban Kontra sa Droga involving all schools.
He compared his case to the case of Mayor Roderick Paulate and two employees of Quezon City who were only meted a penalty of six months suspension for a case involving alleged ghost employees which involved a bigger amount.
The concerned employees hope that the Ombudsman will look into the motion for reconsideration they filed, be fair and reverse its decision, he said. If their motion is not granted, they will elevate the matter to the Court of Appeals, he added.
"I just did my job and did not gain a single centavo from the transaction." Ravena, 59, said he is supposed to be retiring from government service next year. He has worked for 18 years in other government institutions including the Philippine National Bank and Land Bank of the Philippines, and has served City Hall for 11 years. Ravena believes there is a political motive behind in order that the person’s name, who is planning to run in 2013, will be floated. "So the person personally followed up with the Ombudsman despite our pending motion for reconsideration," Ravena bewailed.*