For years, we have been mesmerized by the bigger volume of overseas remittances from OFWs to our country. And we consider this as harbinger of brighter days ahead.
Unfortunately, that is a myth. Time may come when our overseas workers find themselves unable to send home more dollars than they had anticipated. And that would spell the end for our country’s economic stability.
Remittances do not represent earnings. Or income. In the actual sense of the economy, our foreign workers are just there by the grace of God and the goodwill of the host countries.
Yesterday, I visited Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. in his office to inquire from him what he was doing about the case of Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
For Marañon it was a matter of waiting for the outcome of the preliminary investigation to the case filed by the CIDG against Peña. In short, this was something Marañon is not interested in. Just curious.
And that was the same reply from Atty. Jose Ma. Valencia, the governor’s subaltern.
"The case had been submitted to Manila, and, I supposed the hearing must be there. All we have to do is just wait for the results," said Joe Val.
The only quip I heard from Marañon was his wish to meet with "Magsie" again.
Never have Negrenses been in a quandary as to which story to believe in - that the CIDG raiding team had found scores of the 90 firearms seized from the Mayor Magdaleno Peña compound in Pulupandan were not licensed. And that he also had several pounds of explosives recovered by the raiders inside the Peña compound.
Peña had come out with the statement that all the firearms have licenses under the name of corporations which he reportedly owns. It seems that until yesterday, he had failed to produce the said licenses.
Then, we have the statement by SPO1 Rosendo Bursal, Jr. in a sworn affidavit that he denied having seen the recovery of the explosives in the compound as with the CIDG raiders.
But later, he also issued another affidavit denying his first version of the claims that there was never that explosive. And he claims that he had been forced to sign the denial.
CIDG, however, just went ahead and filed the charges against Magsie before the DOJ in Manila. Actually, the CIDG had come all the way from Manila to stage the raid on the Peña residence in Ubay, Pulupandan.
We cannot escape, of course, politicos of all types now claiming that they are going definitely to win in the forthcoming May 13 elections.
Everyone, just a few days ago, made to with the INC endorsement of their candidacies for the various positions they are vying for. And, of course, there are those who have been deprived of such endorsements and their quizzical questions.
And, too often, with that we seem to overlook some fundamental issues that deserve our attention if we wish our city or province to be sure that the rights of its citizens are adequately protected and their superior officers - from prosecutors to local excessive adhere to the rule of law and not just to their own devices.
Although I am sure that mayoralty bet Monico Puentevella may question my choice of the complaint by Sarah Esguerra that City Mayor Evelio Leonardia filed a case of unjust vexation because of her disbarment case against the city mayor for the latter’s move to change the Charter Day from October to June through a more executive order.
As we near our departure time, we soon discover that very often we miss the departure of friends. No, not just ordinary friends, but very close friends and also relatives.
Thus, for example, I missed recently the demise of Dr. Zorayda Gauzon, wife of Dr. Antonio Gauzon. Both were close friends with Nene (Dr. Lourdes L. Espina) and myself.
I was not even able to visit Aida’s wake. At least just to bid her goodbye.
No, it was not a revolt against President Benigno Aquino III. Rather, the local LP group or Noynoy for President Movement will support only the LP bets running for the city council.
This was the clarification yesterday by members of the group who had been in the forefront of the aggrupations that had helped Aquino win the presidency in Negros Occidental during the last presidential polls in 2010.
In short, it agreed with Andy Hagad’s claim that the President had only been prodded by some elements to hold aloft the arms of City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, and Councilor Greg Gasataya, the latter is running for vice mayor under Sayson.
But more ominous, however, is the court case that the Noynoy for President Movement intends to file today against both the Bacolod Commission on Elections and the city government on the latter’s agreement to disburse funds solicited by the local poll body who had requested some P5,141,550 for the poll body’s election funds.
Sufficient to Cover its Many Debts?
Governor Marañon keeps on spouting off to the point of hysteric that the Province of Negros Occidental is solvent! That it has about P1.6 billion in the bank! That the province will never become insolvent for as long as he is the Governor! This is so easy to say and even declare so vociferously!
So let us look into this deposit of the Province! How much of this money on deposit is already allocated to suppliers, to oil companies, much more so to contractors and business establishments?
If only Governor Marañon would be honest enough and transparent enough about the finances of the province, we MAY LEARN TO TRUST HIM! However, we deeply wonder if the Governor will allow the publication of the indebtedness of the present dispensation? In fact, we just wish Governor Marañon would take up our challenge and do what we are asking for! We can just wonder if he has the guts or moral courage to do so!
I was surprised to learn yesterday that Mrs. Melba Alejandrino, the widow of the late Sangguniang Panlalawigan secretary, that she had filed a case with the Ombudsman against City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and several others.
This reportedly because she had found out that Leonardia had authorized the payment of an exorbitant amount of purchase the Arao Property in Vista Alegre without the approval by the SP.
She said that the evidence had already been submitted to the anti-graft body and that she and her lawyer are still digging further to for additional evidence.
To a certain extent, yesterday, Mrs. Alejandrino, who came home recently from Los Angeles, California, said her family had received only a partial amount of benefits of Alejandrino. Those consisted mostly of accrued sick and vacation leaves, and nothing from the retirement benefits of Alejandrino.
Officers and members of the Fabricanian Association, the residents of what used to be called Fabrica, the cosmopolitan village of Sagay City, has come out openly for Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.
The reason - Marañon is himself a Fabricanian. Literally a barrio boy, like his elder brother, the late Governor Joseph.
Athena Lacuesta, a professor in the De La Salle University and secretary of the association, said a lot of officers and members of the group have started to get in touch with their relatives and friends in the province and asking them to support Marañon for governor for a second term.
The LP and NPC must have a poor regard for the brains of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas for them to have submitted to half truths and fact-twisting attempts to debate. As pointed out by Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr., an apparent and glaring dichotomy - the governor cannot implement any program or project without the imprimatur of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
All the projects they had brought to the attention of the good DILG Secretary have the imprimatur of the same people who are now questioning them," said Marañon.
In short, they are just questioning the very projects and programs which they had earlier given their consent to such as the purchase of sheep for the Negros First Ranch in Murcia. The Negros First Cyber Center which was first presented to the SP with Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez giving his support to former Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.