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.