No accountability, transparency with Bambi

OPINION
By SUSAN PALMES-DENNIS
November 30, 2019

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NARITA Airport, Tokyo---As I write this with no small effort, Misamis Oriental province can look forward to a budget that can either result in programs beneficial to them or to those allied with the incumbent administration of Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny ‘Bambi’ Emano.

Last I heard, the budget cuts to the office of Vice Gov. Jigjag Pelaez were substantial but no thanks to Bambi’s majority bloc in the Provincial Board, there is nothing that Pelaez can do except to grin and bear it.

Unless of course if Pelaez has legal basis to elevate his complaint to the Office of the President or the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) but then again, the people of Misamis Oriental deserve better than a reenacted budget.

In fact the people of Misamis Oriental deserve a much better health care program than Emano’s MisorCares which was supposed to pay for health care services and medicines for the province’s poorest of the poor but whose funds reportedly went to the pockets of bootlickers loyal to the governor and his Padayon Pilipino party.

In his third and final three-year term in the Capitol Bambi is, sadly, following the trajectory of his father, the late Cagayan de Oro City mayor and former Misamis Oriental governor Vicente ‘Dongkoy’ Emano who started out strong in the city in 1998 but eventually exited City Hall and was unable to recover his former glory in the wake of his defeat to incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Bambi’s continued evasion and failure to put to rest the controversy surrounding his administration’s questionable and irregular deal with the head of a group of tenants now occupying a substantial portion of the Capitol grounds will certainly hound him should he decide to run in Cagayan de Oro.

There is no small irony to Bambi’s current situation given that in his first few days in the Capitol, he took pains to accuse his predecessor, Mayor Moreno of irregularities during his incumbency in the province only to be proven dead wrong after the string of cases against Moreno were dismissed in the following years since.

Again, Bambi’s supposed deal with the head of the group of tenants didn’t pass muster with state auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA) and yet he stubbornly insists that he on his own volition can approve or reject deals without even securing approval from the Provincial Board.

In terms of transparency and accountability, Bambi miserably fails the litmus test expected of any elected public official and yet he has the gall to accuse a former ally turned political enemy of corruption without any substantial evidence to back it up.

Truly a case of sour-graping and resentment that is tragically reflective of the country’s political climate and culture.   Yet it’s still some time to go before the 2022 elections and anything can happen so I can only join the others in hoping and praying that the people of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental elect better, more accountable, responsible and  transparent officials than those holding the majority at the Capitol.

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On another topic, there are some questions I’d like to raise concerning the campaign on colorum taxis waged by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-10) in Cagayan de Oro City after the board asked for additional personnel from the city to augment their drive.

First off, can city residents reasonably expect to see substantial results on the campaign with the added muscle given by the city to the LTFRB-10? Second, as some city councilors pointed out, is the LTFRB-10 cracking down on its own people who issue franchises to taxis left and right in exchange for cash or any other favors?

Third, and this is a bit complicated, is the LTFRB conducting an honest-to-goodness assessment of the actual number of taxis operating in the city to see if they are actually transporting a good number of passengers to and from their destinations or they have difficulty finding passengers due to local competition and thus their presence in the roads and streets only serve to aggravate the existing traffic congestion in Cagayan de Oro?

There are an estimated one million people passing through Cagayan de Oro for work or leisure in the day time and of that number, how many actually ride taxis or prefer to ride cheaper passenger jeepneys or have their own cars? These are questions that I feel the LTFRB needs to answer.


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