10 April 2014
Hon. Carlos Jose Valderrama Lopez
City Councilor and Chairman
Committee on Tourism
Dear Councilor Lopez:
I would like to commend your planned initiative to improve, develop and beautify the Bacolod Public Plaza, a significant portion of which forms part of the earliest patrimony of the Church of Bacolod.
Having gone over the minutes of the public hearing conducted by your committee last 25 March 2014, I would like to raise two important brief points:
1. Having in mind the best interest of the Church and of the people of Bacolod, I have nothing against the plan to beautify, improve and develop the parcel of land owned by the Church but now forms part of the existing Plaza under the terms and conditions in the Mutual Agreement of August 1922. So long as the said development as planned do not violate any stipulation of the said agreement, we give our generous YES. 2. However, as to the proposal that the property of the Church which forms part of the plaza be declared as a National Historical Site for the purpose of acquiring grants from TIEZA we say NO. This is due to reasons which are too long to discuss here. Suffice it to say, that there are crucial and lingering CANONICAL and LEGAL implications and questions that demand our careful study and consideration.
SURFACE OF SPRING WATER BENEFITS ALL. We have been discussing the issues surrounding the circumstances linked with the Bacolod City Water District for months on end, and lately we have come to a conclusion that we have been right all along, with the most telling being our contention on irregularities attending the water firm, and the water we have been taking from our pipes daily for many many years.
Anomalies have been attending LWUA-BACIWA Operations with the succeeding members of the BACIWA board, remissed in rectifying these errors and instead, worsening it. One issue for one the taking out of a P547-M loan from a Japanese international lending agency which practically went to naught. A seven-kilometer pipeline built with the use of the loan and other projects carried out through the loan have all went to useless alleged and supposed development endeavors.
There are strong allegations that some former public officials of the City of Bacolod are doing their utmost to downgrade the accomplishments of the incumbent city officials.
This became very evident when certain officials were interviewed in the possible outcome of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.
For me, former Bacolod City Mayor Leonardia, now congressman, allegedly stated, "...He added that he told Pacquiao, an adopted son of Bacolod, that Bacoleños continue to support him and look forward to watching Pacquiao and Bradley on Sunday, April 13, 2014. (What is deplorable when he allegedly stated) IT IS TOO BAD THERE WILL BE NO MORE FREE PUBLIC SCREENING OF THE FIGHT LIVE IN SEVERAL AREAS OF THE CITY THE WAY IT USED TO BE, THE CONGRESSMAN ADDED…"
IS THE PROBLEM ITSELF. On the Salvador Benedicto Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) for one, we are now once again, told that the PAMB Board will discuss the matter and issue its recommendation. On many other issues, these are what time and again, we have been informed.
This is also the case of areas already of targeted landholdings for agrarian reform, but how many complaints on this matter have cropped up with government and specifically the DAR-MARO, not carrying this out?
Or the encroachment of such "development" and investors building structures without business permits, manipulating the titling of lands on already declared land reform areas such as in Alangilan Village or in foreshore communities where small fishermen and seashell gatherers are deprived of livelihood? There are now similar and innumerable cases all over the country, with procrastination as the culprits of maldevelopment.
With the controversy that has arisen on the Brgy. Felisa dumpsite, media practitioners believe that it is about time that an inquiry be held at the Bay Center which would be open to the general public.
There have already been a lot of news aired to the public over tri-media outlets and the general public have been fed with conflicting news since Leonardia was still the City Mayor.
Right now, as follows have been aired:
1. No land title on the controversial property?
2. Why was the land title, at least a photocopy, turned over to the City authorities when the Lopez family received the P20 million initial payment?
I was born in 1941. 1941 to 1945 was the height of war engagement in the Philippines.
This topic of war in the Pacific is well described by my fellow columnists Rolly Espina in his past columns and the scholarly writing of Roque Hofileña, Jr.
Facts about what happened with us are important facet of our history that should not be taken for granted. It is wealth to the country that we have such men who enrich our culture by their documentations.
I found out during our coffee talk with Henry Streegan that he was riding horses in the hinterland of Cadiz during the war. How I wish to know more about what happened to Henry as Rolly Espina did with his documentation on his column about war in Fabrica.
SOME TELLING POINTS. This Sunday morning, a few hours before the epic boxing combat between Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, and Timothy Bradley, the "Running Man".
Our observations/points are actually take-offs from comments points made by Pacman trainer, Freddie Roach and even from Bradley himself with some analysis thrown in.
Both sides also made these observations based on the twos previous bout, where Pacquiao lost by few measly points to Bradley in what many people said were biased judging and which was even criticized by the Nevada State Boxing Commission because the evident conscious biasness of one of the judges was evident.
Now that Bob Arum, the boxing promoter has arranged a return bout between the two, a load of speculations about the possible results of their fight a few hours from now has, of course, ensued.
AS WATER LEVEL DROPS. Fears are once again being expressed all over the country, in every province and in areas where water supply comes from huge dams. These are dams such as Pantabangan, Magat and Angat Dams in Luzon.
In Bacolod City, concerned BACIWA officials especially whistleblowers and owners of springs in hinterlands of Bacolod and Talisay expressed concerns that with the persistent use of deepwells to supply water to concessionaires, time would not be far off when the groundwater deepwells would dry up and seawater would invade former groundwater deepwells and we would experience the problem Cebu City is facing, lack of groundwater, or freshwater sources because of overuse of groundwater as main sources of water, potable for washing, and for various usage.
That alarm has already been raised by various studies released previously.
Lawyer Roger "Brick" Reyes whose family owns a freshwater springs in the Alangilan Village area, says the BACIWA gets its supply of the commodity to Bacolod residents.
THUS, THE APPEAL. Thus, in a press conference recently when she won the signal victory of being favored in a fair decision by RTC Judge Franklin Demonteverde, in an appeal for the issuance of a restraining order and preliminary injunction on her removal by LWUA officials and with the collaboration of half of the water district’s members of the board, she also issued a fervent appeal to Mayor Monico Puentevella to let things be as she had nothing against the City government’s top honcho who, she said, is a close relative.
When she was appointed member of the BACIWA board representing the professional sector, what was on her mind was to do her duty and be of service to the people, the consumers of Bacolod.
Her fiscalication of the water district was but part of her responsibility and her obligation and that what she was doing was not directed against the mayor. And she has no intention of having any conflict with him or anybody in the City Government but that like them she has a mandate to serve the interests of BACIWA consumers.
With BACIWA Director Dra. Marichi Ramos winning a signal victory in her stint with the board of directors, more problems will face executive officers of the water firm, including primarily General Manager, lawyer Juliana Carbon and directors to include lawyers Maida Torre and LWUA-assigned Atty. Yolanda Zaragoza and Mrs. Cecilia Henares. Include COA head Diana Tan who has stonewalled in the granting of Ramos’ per diems of P14T a month at P7T per board meeting in spite of the issuance of a Preliminary injunction on her removal by Judge Franklin Demonteverde.
As of this writing, Saturday, April 5, Tan has steadfastly refused to grant Ramos’ several months per diem, refused to renew her cellphone privileges, plus other benefits she is entitled to as director.
Tan is under the control and thumb of Ramos’ enemies who have been doing everything to deny her seat in the BACIWA board as if she does not have any right or rights.
Lawyer Roger "Brick" Reyes said this is concretely because of her having questioned actions of the executive management and three of the water district’s members of the board actions in the immediate past.