Who is adobo ilonggo?

Atty. Pet Melliza wrote in his blog that there are three distinct writing styles that are apparent in the black propaganda machine, Adobo Ilonggo. That’s true. Right from the start, the identity of these three individuals became obvious to me. Having been in Iloilo media for over three decades, I’ve become quite familiar with writing styles. It’s not rocket science. And it’s easy to piece things together. Just look at their backgrounds and motive can be established without sweat.

A lady and two men. That is the core composition of this evil triumvirate. Holding them all together is Jeffrey Celiz, the former mouth piece of Bayan Panay and expelled member of the CPP, and now the spokesman of City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog. The other man is Nereo Lujan, who was also expelled from the Philippine Daily Inquirer after being caught in flagrante delicto with dozens and dozens of plagiarism cases. The lone woman is Hazel Villa. She is the smooth and literary style that could occasionally be read on Adobo Ilonggo.

Let’s go to motives. Jeffrey Celiz is a no-brainer. He is defending Mabilog, so he needs to put up a platform to neutralize the stream of exposes thrown against his boss. And being a no-brainer, his only recourse really is to use profane language and throwing heaps of lies as he had done during his Bayan-Panay days. That’s why he recruited Hazel and Nereo.

Hazel is a business partner of Celiz. They run communications workshops together. They pulled a big stunt for the “Sinadya sa Suba” that didn’t quite bring fun to the Iloilo River. All it did was reward them financially. Hazel is angry at Rommel Ynion. She was fired about a year ago when he failed to deliver on the online platform for The News Today despite having obtained cash advances of P120,000. Her deadline came, and went. She promised to rush things up. After two weeks, editor in chief Junep Ocampo cancelled the contract and asked her to return the money. Hazel was able to cough up only half the amount. And she was really angry.

She became a natural candidate for Jepoy to recruit. They had a common enemy, in addition to their business and personal relationship.

Jepoy saw Nereo as another helping hand. Nereo has turned the internet into a platform for terroristic attacks against the characters and reputations of his targets. Jed Patrick Mabilog was one such target during the campaign period for the 2010 elections. Nereo put up blogs and Facebook accounts exposing Mabilog as a closet gay. It wasn’t hard for Jepoy to figure out how Nereo can be useful to his cause. Let bygones be bygones. Mabilog can forgive him if he turns his guns on the critics of Mabilog.

It wasn’t difficult for Celiz to persuade Lujan. Nereo has an overwhelming obsession to destroy me. I was the one who gave this guy his biggest break when he was still starting as a reporter for The Daily Times. But he is consumed by a passion to do better than me — “lapawan niya ako” — and he has done a lot of nasty things in his efforts to do so. That’s why when he was writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he bombarded its news desk with bundles and bundles of stories every day. He looked like a super reporter with his story output.

The problem is that the stories Nereo Lujan filed with PDI were all stolen from other local newspapers. At the time, we shared an office at the Lopez Arcade along with his erstwhile friend and partner, Joy de Leon. When I saw what he was doing, I counseled Lujan to stop the practice. It was just lead him to trouble, I said. He just snickered at the thought. A few months afterwards, the whole nation turned its attention to the controversy over the disposal of Metro Manila garbage to the open pits of Semirara Island off Antique province. Almost all national dailies sent reporters there to tackle the story.

For a few days, the by-line of Nereo Lujan dominated the front pages of PDI with his stories. Then one day, a photograph taken by Arnold Almacen, who was then connected with the Sun Star network, appeared on PDI with Lujan’s name on the credit line. Almacen had submitted the same picture to Sun Star, and his editors quickly saw the theft. They complained to PDI.

As it turned out, Almacen asked Lujan to ship his rolls of film taken from Semirara during the lone instance that the plagiarist had gone there. Before shipping the film to Sun Star, Lujan had them processed and printed, and took a few shots with him. He submitted them to PDI as his own. That’s plain thievery.

An embarrassed PDI ordered an investigation. Ironically, it was Hazel Villa, who is also an accredited PDI correspondent, who did the initial inquiries. When the preliminary inquiries validated the cases of plagiarism, the bureau chief of PDI in Cebu, Connie Fernandez, came to Iloilo and double check. The plagiarism cases, and theft, were established without doubt.

Lujan was quickly banished from PDI without much funfare. Plagiarism is the worst sin that a journalist can make. It is akin to leprosy in society.

Lujan became angrier because his dream to overtake me as one of the more successful journalists in Iloilo was frustrated. He became angrier when Boboy Syjuco fired him as a consultant from his district office in 2000 because he wasn’t doing any work. He blamed me for his loss of a lucrative contract. I was chief of staff of Syjuco at the time.

These individuals are hiding behind a camouflage in mounting a campaign of vilification, defamation and condemnation against just about anybody who dares speak against Mabilog. Even innocent women and children are dragged into their online offensives. They want to scare everybody against helping the cause of truth and justice. Even private individuals who happen to express opinions that are not favorable to Mabilog are hit.

Atty. Melliza is right in saying that the intensity of adobo ilonggo will rise now that the Ombudsman has commenced on criminal and administrative investigations against Mabilog. They will try to destroy my name and credibility in the desperate hope that Ilonggos will not believe the charges I have filed against the mayor. Too bad, this is no longer a propaganda issue. This is a legal issue. Mabilog has failed to destroy me through adobo ilonggo, and he has now to face the Ombudsman on these issues.

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.

2 Responses to Who is adobo ilonggo?

  1. Edwin Pacino says:

    Well,is there something new in the media circle? Nothing…I was once a broadcast journalist a radio commentator.With all the years in the media there is nothing remarkable except that it is full of intrigues. Comes election day I am sure binaisay naman na kon sino ang legitimate Press Club. One group will say “Iloilo Press Club” the other one will say “Iloilo Press and Radio Club”. And what is funny is that the media people claiming to be in the Iloilo Press Club and Iloilo Pres and Radio Club are the same people. The truth is kon sa mga sapat ido ni nga ang gina alagawan “TUL AN”.Its hard to unite the media people. Money cannot even unite them.In fact it is the cause of enmity among them.


  2. Tyay Milag says:

    Didto naman sa cabatuan nag pa rapta sang ramag ya si Nereo Lujan tito boy. Halin sa mayor, hasta sa pari wala siya ginapili. Gina cyber bully niya tanan targeting their reputations. Indi siya guro ka sarang sa imo tito boy, amu na didto naman siya nag pa bida bida. Higku na panulok sang mga tawo to sa iya. wala respeto.


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