The big difference

Although it’s  just a little over three months into the Defensor administration at the Iloilo capitol, there is already an abundance of stories coming from various sectors of the community on their unpleasant experiences with the brand of leadership being displayed by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

A common theme has emerged, and it can be lumped into the broad category of “the big difference” in the conduct of public service between the previous governor, Niel Tupas Sr., and the incumbent. The words “arrogance”, “indifference”, “hot temper”, and “betrayal” are becoming the most commonly used words to describe the present dispensation. This is a sharp contrast to the pleasant manner the Tupas administration has been described during the previous nine years.

The irony is that the most vitriolic of these complaints come from individuals who had openly supported the candidacy of Arthur Defensor Sr. Not surprisingly, a tide of regret is now sweeping their ranks as frustration and disappointment are being experienced in rapid fashion.

One of those who groused about his sad experience is a barangay captain in Passi City who swung his support for Defensor shortly before the May 10, 2010 elections when he obtained a handsome financial package from Rep. Ferj Biron. This barangay captain hails from one of the biggest barangays of Passi City, and he thought Defensor would enthusiastically look after his request when he went to the capitol a few weeks ago.

To his bitter disappointment, the barangay captain wasn’t even granted an audience by the governor. Worse, his request was just filed inside a thick folder which didn’t look as if previous requests were favorably acted upon.

Harsh words about the new governor were also uttered by a barangay captain from Dumangas, Iloilo who sought the assistance of the capitol for a dog bite victim in his barangay. This official obtained a note from a Sangguniang Bayan member who is a relative of the governor, thinking this would open doors for him. When he knocked on the doors of the governor’s office, he was surprised the handwritten note didn’t even warrant a cursory reading. His request was rejected.

It seems Ilonggos will have to expect more of this kind of treatment from the governor for the next 32 months of his term of office. Well, it’s not as if they weren’t warned about the character of this man. Many voters allowed themselves to be swayed by the P50-bills with the name “Art” stapled to it. They will have to suffer the consequences for this error in judgment.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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