Panay News hits Mabilog, Trenas ‘highest form of epal’

http://www.panaynewsphilippines.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:highest-form-of-epal&catid=39:iloilo&Itemid=13

Abuse of power

The Mabilog administration will go down in history as the most abusive and corrupt set of officials to set foot on the Iloilo City Hall.

There is no better illustration of this abuse and corruption than the use of government resources to advance the personal interests of those holding powerful positions.

Take the case of the government’s housing program to provide opportunities for the poor to build their own homes. Like most cities in the country, Iloilo City has a huge backlog for cheap and affordable housing for the poor. The city government has procured land to be developed as relocation sites for them. The available land is not enough to accommodate qualified beneficiaries.

But the Mabilog administration has taken liberty in stealing the limited slots for relocation site housing lots and using them to pamper its few favored people. Jepoy Celiz is one such pampered employee.

Despite the fact that he is gainfully employed as “political liaison officer” of Jed Patrick Mabilog, Celiz was awarded three — THREE — choice lots in Project 3 of the Sooc Relocation Site in the Arevalo-Mandurriao. The Project 3 relocation site was developed with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to resettle poor families who were uprooted from their shanties along riverbanks and clear the waterways for the flood control project.

Celiz never lived along the riverbanks. He is not poor, at least by the standards of the thousands of poor who have to scratch the ground for survival. He basks in the power and glory of the City Mayor’s Office. But why was he awarded three lots? Isn’t that a deprivation of opportunities intended for the poor? In plain and simple language, isn’t that stealing from the poor?

Mabilog’s political propaganda officer Jepoy Celiz relaxing in front of his house in Project 3, Sooc Relocation Site. Celiz was awarded three lots in a project intended for the poor and homeless.

 

Impunity

The barkers of Jed Patrick Mabilog boasted to the local media that Wilfredo Solomon, close-in bodyguard of the city mayor, has been pulled out of his duties as chief protector and reassigned as office clerk in his extravagantly furnished 7th floor office in the New Iloilo City Hall building.

These barkers made it sound as if Solomon, who shot and wounded an unarmed neighbor twice, was being exiled to Siberia. Solomon figured in another fracas last Sunday night when he pulled out his pistol in a drunken altercation but was overpowered by his own drinking buddies. He was beaten black and blue. it was an ugly episode for a city mayor who ignores criminality in Iloilo City as if it doesn’t exist.

Solomon has never been charged for his crimes. The police are reluctant to do so for obvious reasons. Mabilog said it’s up to the police. We don’t need to be geniuses to figure out that it’s a signal to them not to mess with his bodyguard. Now he is being given a comfortable job after being mauled by buddies who could have been shot themselves.

This soft reproach is symbolic of how Mabilog treats abuses in his administration. It is a perfect illustration of a culture of impunity where law breakers get the protection of persons in authority. Instead of turning Solomon in, Mabilog shielded him and ordered him to enjoy the airconditioned comfort of an overpriced A/C system in his office. Not even a reprimand.

Because of this, it is not surprising why criminality has surged in Iloilo City during the last 26 months. It’s either Mabilog is protecting criminals or is simply too callous to bother about protecting the safety of his constituents. Until now, we haven’t heard the city mayor acknowledge that we have a problem. His statements have always branded these reports as exaggerations, or figments of the imagination.

What makes us worry is that people are getting killed. Homes and businesses are being robbed, many in broad daylight. Laws are being violated, with no steps being taken to address them. In this city, impunity is the name of the game.

‘Kuryente’

The local media was victim of the creative scams of Jed and Jepoy about so-called achievements to boost the image of the city mayor.
In media parlance, “na-kuryente”.
Jed and Jepoy had been jumping up and down like monkeys lately telling the people about a plan to rehabilitate the city’s traffic lights system with help from ABS/CBN chief executive officer Gabby Lopez.
Consistent with

their penchant for painting a rosier picture than the truth, Jed and Jepoy said the plan is likely to roll out soon because Lopez supposedly promised to bring executives of IBM Philippines to Iloilo City for this project.
Jed and Jepoy boasted that Lopez even volunteered to lend money to the city to make the project a reality.
This tall tale reached the attention of ABS/CBN, forcing Bong Osorio to issue a disclaimer yesterday.
It’s not true that Lopez offered to bring IBM Philippines over to Iloilo. Neither did he offer any loan to the city. Ka-boom!
I knew that sooner or later, the campaign of lies will collapse. No lie can ever go unexposed. Jed and Jepoy are now singing a different tune. They never said those things, they claim. So they are now lying again to cover up a lie. It’s a vicious cycle for liars.

WORD OF THE DAY: “KLEPTOCRACY”

Rommel S. Ynion has coined a new word to describe the brand of governance that wields power at the Iloilo City Hall. This is “kleptocracy”, where our officials are engaged in nothing else but stealing from the coffers of the taxpayers.
Interestingly, an elected official in Iloilo City figured in a scandal about 30 years ago at the West Visayas State University. This official was caught stealing a microscope from the laboratory!
Does this mean that this condition — prone to stealing — had existed many years ago, and is only being sharpened as more opportunities to steal come to this official?

Besieged

It must be an excruciating period for Jed Patrick E. Mabilog to be bombarded from all sides by radio commentators and plain citizens over his clear inability to govern and keep anomalous transactions under wraps.

Mabilog has always believed that he can hide his shortcomings with a barrage of praise releases, a flood of billboards showing his photograph and attacking those who dare expose his corruption. He came to the mayorship making use of his marketing skills, and he never realized his packaging skills are not enough to carry out his job.

Being a local chief executive requires more than savvy marketing. It requires leadership and management skills. Political astuteness is an asset, but by itself is inadequate. Integrity is a big plus. Transparency, too. And, of course, scandals will only help weigh down an administration.

After a little over than two thirds in his first term, Mabilog finds himself on the hot seat. He is short on every item on the checklist. And his list of scandals have reached boiling point. His effort to deluge the city’s landscape with his heavily made-up face can’t stop the barrage of criticism.

Ordinances are routinely being unenforced. Laws are flagrantly violated without fear. Crimes are on the rise. Bodies of murder victims are littering the city’s streets. The loud cracks of cal. 45 pistols are becoming a familiar refrain. Worse, hundreds of millions of pesos in public funds are being stolen in broad daylight. Government transactions are fixed. Corruption has reached untold heights.

And where is Mabilog? Hiding. He is quivering in a corner, not knowing what to do. His pants are wet.  He is angry because the truth can’t be hidden. He is angry because people can see clearly he is incompetent and corrupt. Only his mouthpiece, Jeffrey Celiz, is trying to pepper the public with lies. The effect, naturally, is to worsen his plight.

Mabilog wants to believe this is an orchestrated effort by Rommel S. Ynion to dislodge him on May 13, 2013. That’s the problem with an individual who believes his own propaganda. He can’t even start to understand that he is the problem. These problems were his own doing. Nobody pushed him to be incompetent. Nobody pushed him to be corrupt.

As more and more Ilonggos begin to comprehend the real problem in City Hall, Mabilog can expect to barrage of criticism to step up. His woes are only being aggravated by the Commission on Audit which unmasked the anomalies in the City Hall project. The Ombudsman is also probing deep into his unexplained wealth.

Mabilog is a besieged man. Truth is working against him. His biggest enemy is himself. And nobody can help him fend the issues.

Iloilo Capitol power bill soars anew; P1.925 million for March

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.

Ombudsman probes anomalous P260 supplementary contract for City Hall project

Ombudsman probes anomalous P260 supplementary contract for City Hall project

Warlord

Among elected public officials in Iloilo, councilor Plaridel Nava is the only one who publicly displays notorious characters as personal bodyguards. That can only serve one purpose: to instill fear in those who might dare oppose him, or earn his ire. But what is more bothersome is that City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog apparently encourages him to do that. Mabilog has come to depend on Nava as his pillar in politics. He routinely designates Nava to serve as OIC-mayor when he travels outside Iloilo City. Nava is number twelve in the council. That’s not because of outstanding talents or abilities. Nava always takes care of Mabilog’s enemies, that’s why. Mabilog sees no problem in Nava being a warlord for as long as he can deliver the goods.