Jaycees vs. Jaycee
By Ermin Garcia Jr.
THE bunch of Jaycees in Dagupan who have since acquired the undeserved titles of “Honorable” as city officials (and as executive assistants) running the affairs of the city, continue to be a disgrace not only to their families but to the JCI organization as well.
JCs Red Erfe Mejia, Chito Samson Alvin Coquia, Dada Manaois-Reyna (all Jaycee chapter past presidents), Karlos Reyna, (a chapter VP) and non-entities Jess Canto, Emong Vallejos and Chester Gonzales, were led by the nose by JC Brian Lim, incoming president of the Dagupan Bangus Jaycees, on orders of his father, Mayor Benjie Lim, past JCI national president, in launching an assault on the personal integrity of their incoming JCI national president, Ryan Ravanzo.
This they did like a pack of hyenas after their conspiracy succeeded in forcing the city council to legitimize their illegal acts committed during the controversial special session last April 20. It was clearly an attempt to retaliate against Mr. Ravanzo for citing them in the special civil case in connection with the resolution authorizing Mayor Lim to sell the city’s MC Adore and Calasiao properties.
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Curiously, The Judas 9 woofed and woofed about their “loss of confidence” in Mr. Ravanzo about his alleged inaccurate attendance records and nothing else.
Did JC Ravanzo commit an illegal or any unethical act that point to his incompetence as the sanggunian secretary? If so, why didn’t they file a formal complaint? By filing the special civil suit against the Judas 9, Mr. Ravanzo did only what every right-thinking true Jaycee would do in a situation when confronted with an attempt by a dishonest group brazenly circumventing the law in order to serve their own personal interests to the serious disadvantage of their community.
JC Brian, being the mayor’s son, speaking through JC Red, his numero uno onor-onor, knew he had really nothing on JC Ravanzo. This became evident when the Jaycees among the Judas 9 sheepishly approached Mr. Ravanzo to apologize after reciting a litany of allegations in the attendance record that was not even worth the paper these were written on.
Did Onor-onor Red et al. think that by apologizing for their collective misdeed they would still remain true Jaycees in spirit? At best, he and other fellow lapdogs showed to what extent they would junk the Jaycee credo for an opportunity to sell their souls for the devil’s P1.5 million! Their height of hypocrisy revealed itself when JC Brian abstained during the voting! Did he honestly believe he can escape culpability as a barefaced Jaycee by not voting on the resolution he alone crafted?
What a pathetic bunch of misguided Jaycees we have at the sanggunian and the city hall. They were trained to be leaders of men, but they ended up being followers of crooks in government, if not the crooks themselves. Their elders who painstakingly took decades to establish the prestige of Jayceeism in Dagupan must be hanging their heads in shame on seeing what today’s crop are doing unabashedly.
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POLITICAL COFFINS. If the Judas 9 think they got away with murder with their successful move to “legitimize” their illegal resolution authorizing their generous patron Mr. Lim to sell the city’s prime properties, they have a different thing coming. They actually dug their political graves deeper beyond possible redemption with a possible period of incarceration to boot that will be meted them by the Sandiganbayan. Surely, the bad faith of the Judas 9 is not lost to Judge Emma Torio.
They may have saved themselves from a potential political embarrassment by the court, but they confirmed their participation in the conspiracy to defraud the city. It is, therefore, not farfetched to expect them to drive the last nail on their political coffins by subsequently adopting another resolution endorsing the anomalous recommendation of the Appraisal Committee. The local chapters of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association, the United Architects of the Phils. and the Chamber of Commerce may be made to account too for lending themselves to the conspiracy. (The private groups’ presidents, namely Rolando D. Sabado (CREBA), Arch. Joel F. Santos (UAP) and publisher Lelia Sy (CCP) signed the recommendation).
These events will surely be recalled in a subsequent complaint that I expect someone will file before the Ombudsman once the sale of MC Adore property is consummated!
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IRRELEVANT. The anti-epal drive being waged mainly in Metro Manila is becoming more like a publicity stunt for Juana Change and little else.
I wish the movement would go beyond criticizing public officials who put up billboards and tarps announcing their projects in their communities. Instead of merely calling the public’s attention to the seeming waste of public funds for such use of propaganda, I wish the movement would use the propaganda messages as eye-openers for asking how public funds were used. Were the projects overpriced? Were specifications followed?
The costs of the billboards and tarps of politicos that the anti-epal movement want the public to focus don’t cost the public more than a pittance compared to the millions of potential graft that can be committed in the implementation of each project.
While there is a law on transparency, we have hundreds of public officials who refuse to account for public funds endorsed to them via projects, and I’m afraid the present thrust of the anti-epal movement has given them the convenient alibi to withhold all information about their pork barrel projects.
Given the inclination of the many crooks in government, the PNoy administration should instead encourage more transparency even via the billboards and tarps if that could better explain where the pork barrel of mayors, congressmen and senators are being spent. What should be banned are billboards and tarps that claim personal credit for the implementation of projects. (This was the advocacy of PUNCH’s Fire player Gonz Duque when he was vice-guv).
The anti-epal movement is also mistaken to believe that people cannot tell the difference between accountability and outright propaganda. People today are far more discerning than the movement is ready to give it credit.
But with the onset of the unofficial campaign period, the movement has become totally irrelevant. Surely, the thousands of tarps introducing candidates cannot be considered as epal especially when private funds were used.
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NOT TO BE TRUSTED. I am withholding comments on the qualifications of the personalities who filed certificates of candidacy last week until after December.
What I am certain about in Dagupan is - Dagupeños should no longer trust either Mr. Benjie Lim or his son Brian to run the city’s affairs in any capacity. Neither should Dagupeños continue to trust any of the members of the Judas 9 or anyone who worked in the city hall with Mr. Lim during his incumbency as mayor. They all have one thing in common – they find nothing wrong in cheating Dagupeños on every turn.