Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ang Payola


Mount Arayat, Pampanga



Rice Field in San Ildefonso, Bulacan


My hometown, Cabanatuan City, is about 3 hours away by land from Metro Manila. A traveler has an option to take either the Pampanga Route or the Bulacan Route.

If you take the Pampanga Route, you will pass by Mount Arayat (first pic above)in the Municipality of Arayat in Pampanga. It is an inactive volcano with the height of more than three thousand feet above ground level. Mount Arayat is considered a mystical mountain and the legendary home of the fairy godmother Mariang Sinukuan.

If you take the Bulacan Route, you will be treated to an endless display of ricefields (last pic above) at both sides of the road. Central Luzon after all is considered the rice bowl of the Philippines where most of the country's rice supply is produced.

But you may wonder why is this post titled "Ang Payola"? Well, mainly because the newly-elected governors of these two provinces were involved in receiving P500,000 cash gift each from MalacaƱang. It has been on the news for the last two months now and at present, the Senate is probing in on the issue.

Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio and Bulacan Governor Joselito Mendoza both received P500,000 from Malacanang. The President and her staff thru the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office denied allegations that they are the ones who gave the cash gift to the governors. DILG even denied that money were given. Then, the administrative party, KAMPI, admitted that these cash gift money came from their own party's funds. Then, there is also a release from the Governor's League that the alleged “cash donation” given to the two governors might not have been bribe money but could be part of their funds appropriated for the conduct of alliance and capability building for newly elected governors.

The Governor's League even demanded that the money be returned to them so as to stop further controversies on the matter. But who believes them? Among Ed Panlilio obviously did not. It must first be proven that the Governor's League has indeed given the money. One basic flaw to their claim obviously was the way the money were disbursed or distributed. Giving money in paper bags without receipt and evidence of acceptance violates any sound accounting procedures that any organization should have.

What should Governor Panlilio do with the money? For what I have observed, Among Ed has been holding the money and exhibiting it wherever and whenever he goes. That's dangerous because it might get lost or stolen or what-have-you. So I think the better way is to deposit it in the Pampanga Government's Trust Fund pending any resolution on the matter. If the fund is truly for the developmental projects of Pampanga, then, let it be disbursed in accordance with government rules and regulations. If it is to be returned to whoever would eventually claim it, then the provincial treasurer should draw a check for the same amount.

One thing is clear, this giving of "cash gift" happens all the time. We all know who the perpetrator was but obviously our elected government officials will all deny this. Thank GOD that there is Gov. Ed Panlilio who will fight corruption till the end. It is the people like him who makes me proud to be a civil servant.

8 comments:

  1. political rant. i was intrigued by the subject hehe

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  2. correction po Bulacan governor is Joselito Mendoza , brother of former Bulacan governor Josie Mendoza dela Cruz

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  3. di ko alam na bulkan pala ang arayat. =)

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  4. @ tutubi - hehe i don't wanna make it a habit but yeah, i do rant sometimes.

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  5. @ anonymous - ooops. i had it corrected. thanx.

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  6. @ carlotta - yeah it is and has not been active for centuries.

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  7. It's all right to rant sometimes. Better to get things out of our systems.

    (:

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  8. @ kyels - i couldn't agree more. have a nice day.

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