Foot-in-mouth disease

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ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III should take the opportunity to make a stronger and more viable stand on issues hounding Panay Electric Co. like the alleged erroneous overbilling. That opportunity came with the adoption of a report from the City Council’s committee on public utilities chaired by Councilor R Leone Gerochi.

With the inclusion of some suggestions from his colleagues like the filing of criminal and civil suits against PECO, the report is the strongest statement the City Hall could make on the issue.

Adopting the recommendations of the report will somehow fine-tune the mayor’s “uneven” stand on PECO and Metro Iloilo Water District.

Mayor Espinosa’s seemingly lopsided stances on PECO (pandering?) and MIWD (play like a toughie) have led to perceptions of a rift with the City Council. This divide is a big deal (no matter how much other folks try to downplay the issue by mimicking the “general welfare” blah-blah) because it betrays the mayor’s double standards in invoking his role as protector of public interest.

It’s good that the mayor verbalizes his intent to protect public welfare, but his feeble stand on PECO, which is deluged with complaints by consumers, is incongruous to his rabid attitude towards MIWD.

Of course, MIWD will have to explain its projects which will certainly affect consumers. It cannot claim to have been exonerated of any liability, real or imagined, just because the mayor is stumbling on his words and stand.

I encourage the mayor to continue protecting public interest because he is paid to do that and it is the right thing to do.

But I hope and pray that Mayor Joe becomes more consistent and sincere to avoid the situation where the more he speaks, the more he jams his foot in his mouth.

 

PROTOCOL

On the other hand, I will also feel insulted if MIWD officials will expect me to attend their presentation to the Iloilo City Council, which is a separate branch from the executive.

Unless the council extends a formal invitation (which usually happens when the local chief executive delivers his or her state of city/province/municipality address), the mayor cannot just enter the session hall.

Despite Mayor Joe III’s “animosity” towards MIWD and its private sector partners, they should be patient in wooing his support. Insulting the mayor, either straight on or discreetly, will not help.

 

KAYANG-KAYA (FC)

Now it can be told.

Kaya Football Club of Makati City has set in motion its plan to move to Iloilo by submitting a proposal on the use of the Iloilo Sports Complex as its new home stadium.

Gov. Arthur D. Defensor Sr. warmly received the proposal of Kaya FC on Jan 10, 2018 and has tasked Provincial Legal Officer Dennis T. Ventilacion to study the stipulations, particularly the standards set by the United Football League, the country’s premier professional football league, for football stadiums.

We hope and pray that the partnership will materialize so we can further energize grassroots support for and development of football.

With the departure of Stallion FC and before Kaya FC expressed its intention to move to Iloilo, we were dejected by the lack of a professional football team based in the province which claims to be the Football Capital of the Philippines.

Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have outstripped us in the game because of Ceres FC which recently won the United Football League Cup.

But with Kaya FC’s plan to make Iloilo as its new home because of the potential fan base and existing facilities, we can stand firm on our claim that Iloilo is the Mecca of Football not only in the Philippines but maybe in Southeast Asia.

 

LOREN RETURNS HOME

“Legarda Comes Home to Antique, Launches Projects for the People.”

This is the headline of the press release (others say it’s “praise release”) sent by the office of Senator Loren Legarda to this paper after her visit to my other home province (my middle name is Lotilla) on Jan 10, 2018.

Sen. Legarda also regards Antique as her home province because she traces her roots to the town of Pandan. My maternal granddad hails from Sibalom.

The PR quoted the lady broadcaster-turned-politician as saying: “I wanted to come home to my province to personally witness how the programs of government are actually benefitting the people and to assess what still needs to be done for my fellow Antiqueños and for all Filipinos. These projects that we have in Antique are the same projects that we have in the rest of the country. By seeing the implementation of these projects, we would know which are effective and which need to be improved.”

Our moles in Antique said the lady senator has poured billions of pesos worth of infrastructure projects in the province since 2017.

Rest assured that when she visits Iloilo on Jan 28, journalists and pundits will surely ask her: Are you running for the lone congressional district seat of Antique in 2019?

 

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“The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else do it wrong, without comment.” – T. H. White

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