THE people of Bacolod will decide this May whether the government of Mayor EvelioLeonardia and his cohorts in the Sanggunian will be given another three years to administer the affairs of the city. This is the best time to discuss whether they are again worthy of trust or be made to account for their performance or lack of it during the past two and a half years.
This is the time of shifting through their records and making a decision whether or not they still deserve our vote. If they are not, then the people must junk and change them all and convince others to do the same. In the words of Governor Alfredo Marañon, a keen observer of governance and a public servant for about half a century, it is time to “clean Bacolod, physically, literally and morally.”
Like a man who knows his political strategies, the governor defined the issues in Bacolod in clear and precise terms. However, the objectives need to be reduced into concrete terms, palpable to the ordinary citizens. Sure, the citizens see every day the physical decay of the city with mounds of uncollected garbage and air coming out of their faucets instead of water.
On the need for moral cleaning up, this column will dissect official documents from the inside of the Government Center and information from personal knowledge to show the extent of corruption and inefficiencies in the Leonardia administration with the support and sharing of the fruits of corruption by the members of his Grupo Progreso.
The Bible says it perfectly, “by their fruits you may know them” but we must also know how they plucked the evil fruits that deprived the people of Bacolod of resources that could have been used for the common welfare.
As the title suggests, this will be a series because even initial documents in our hands already indicate a repeatedly planned plunder of the treasury of the city by these officials who vowed in a publicly signed “covenant” with the people in 2016 that they will administer the affairs of the city with honesty and transparency. It was a clear rejection of the image of their political opponent. Leonardia and his cabal pledged they would be different and people believed them.
There were grand presentations and dramatic signing that perhaps mesmerized the voters that they believed or at least gave them the impression that Leonardia and his band in Grupo Progreso were different. They fooled the people by creating the image that they were men and women of honor and therefore worthy of trust and that they would indeed fully comply with their part of the covenant. The Nazis, with their plunder to the human race, have a motto, “My honor is my bond.” And evil as their acts were, they kept their word or oath because it was their honor. The documents at hand prove that the GP word was not their bond; it was given with deceit mind.
I have come to a strong belief that they have not honored their word in that covenant and the information on hand indicates they violated the covenant they voluntarily offered and the people accepted. Leonardia won overwhelmingly, an unprecedented victory that I wrote about after the 2016 elections.
I later found out that the heady wine of victory gave Leonardia the wrong impression he can do as he pleased and his Grupo Progreso bowed to his every wish as if they all depended on or owed Leonardia for their personal and political survival. This became apparent when they ostracized the Number One Councilor Ricardo Tan who refused to get a slice of acorruptingpie.
We know that three councilors of the MKK were not invited to the merienda of the poisonous pie but later one of the MKK councilors joined in the party and now as a reward has been included in the GP line up for councilor in this year’s election. Other councilors voted for whatever Leonardia wanted with their eyes and earsclosed and conscience dulled so they can remain as councilors. The deviousness in this cabalistic manner of administering the city is unprecedented in Bacolod’s history.
Cabalism is an anti-thesis in the administration of a democratic government but evidence show that is exactly what is happening in the Leonardia government.
Let us continue tomorrow.