Unmasking Jepoy Celiz

Over the last several months, Jeffrey Celiz, who was known for his vitriolic tirades against corruption and abuses in government, had spent most of his waking hours spewing fire and mud and scum at almost anybody who dared criticize his boss, City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog. I am number one in the hit list of Celiz, who projects himself as the “poster boy of the leftist movement”, and he has also organized a group on social media to wage a black propaganda campaign against Mabilog’s critics.

I have refrained from answering back at Celiz in like manner. In a public debate, there is no hitting below the belt. I adhere to the rule that only issues must be tackled, even though the Mabilog-Celiz vilification campaign has felt at liberty to drag innocent people into the fray. Their operational objective is “hurt as many people, even by-standers, to discourage critics from pursuing inquisitive endeavors”. Even small children are not spared. Families and friends of their targets are attacked as well. In a big way, they operate like the Al Qaeda. They are the worst online terrorists.

Recently, I have been approached by long-time friends who felt the truth about Jepoy Celiz should now be exposed. A lot of people in the community are aghast at the way he spews bile and filth on the airlanes, with total disregard for the broadcast code of ethics. His language is often inappropriate, and his penchant for evading the real issue has irritated even businessmen who were sympathetic to Mabilog. For many people, he is the biggest threat to decency in communications. These friends have fed me with information about Celiz.

I have confirmed that Celiz is a fake communist. He is only trying to project himself, and sound like one, to be a passionate communist who wants to fight the ills of society. It is a cover that he picked from his past to shield Mabilog from the scandals that have erupted all around him in the city government of Iloilo. With this label, he hoped to mislead the public into believing Mabilog could not possibly be guilty of crimes which are anathema to the communist ideal. Corruption is a mortal sin in the eyes of CPP/NDF/NPA.

No less than a high-ranking leader of the CPP/NDF/NPA in Panay island conveyed this message to me through emissaries. “Wala na ina siya koneksyon sa hublag (He is no longer connected to the movement),” I was told. In fact, I was told that during a reunion of former NPA rebels and activists in Ibajay, Aklan, where the body of former NPA leader Warren Calizo was laid in state, Celiz became the butt of jokes. “From extreme left to extreme right,” was how one former leftist activist put it. Celiz has sold his principles, which isn’t really unexpected considering his own misdemeanors that led to his expulsion from the Party.

Celiz didn’t leave the left on his own volition, my sources said. Sometime in 2006, Celiz was caught pilfering funds of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) which he headed then. This is an offense known as “F.O.”, or financial opportunism. As punishment, Celiz was stripped of his position as Bayan-Panay secretary general and sent to the mountains of central Panay for “re-orientation”. After a while, he was dispatched to Samar to prove himself worthy of his Party membership. The hard life in the boondocks of Samar made him realize he wasn’t cut to be a revolutionary. He was “all fury, but no substance”.

Celiz fled. He didn’t resign, as there is no such thing in the underground movement. He hid, begging then Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to protect him. When the leadership of the CPP/NDF/NPA learned about his cowardly act, he was expelled. There was no glory or honor in what he did. He was a disgrace to the movement.

Ultimately, Celiz was provided with employment by then City Mayor Jerry P. Trenas. It was part of the refuge provided to him by Gonzalez. As fate would put it, Mabilog defeated Gonzalez for the mayorship, and Celiz was handed over to the new mayor. A glib talker, Celiz got the mayor to make him right-hand man. He sweet-talked Mabilog into making him spokesman.

As part of his compensation package, Celiz was awarded a lot at the Sooc, Mandurriao relocation site, which is supposed to be earmarked only for dislocated families as a result of the flood control project and other government infrastructure in the city. Lots in relocation sites are hard to get, even for indigent families who have been uprooted from their old homes. But for Celiz, it was a matter of privilege. Never mind that more deserving families were deprived of relocation lots; what was important to him was reward for his blind loyalty to Mabilog.

Celiz is indeed privileged. Mabilog didn’t give him just one lot. He got two. The other lot was awarded to his mother-in-law.

Definitely, Celiz could not possibly be qualified for a relocation lot. He is gainfully employed. He wasn’t affected by the flood control project. He and his family live in Tanza Timawa, Molo. In fact, his wife, who is also a job-hire worker in the city government, is a barangay kagawad. The award of this lot in Sooc, Mandurriao is an anomaly that the Jepoy Celiz of the old Bayan days would have denounced.

In this light, it is easy to understand the ferociousness with which Celiz carries out his job as Doberman attack dog for Mabilog. He is well-fed with bones through crooked and irregular means by his master. He has no choice but to defend his master even though he knows about the massive corruption in City Hall. He is compelled to tell packs of lies, knowing he could never justify the wrongdoings. Otherwise, the bones could be taken back from him.

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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