MR. FOREVER NO TALK — A recent visit to Japan two weeks past once again proved what is a known fact about one provincial official.
In one of the discussions I attended as a sit-in guest of one of the invited delegates for a JICA-initiated official trip for very few and selected Pangasinan leaders, I surmised how one of the provincial officials in the entourage would participate in the discussion.
Before one of the presentations held at the Muzakawasaki central tower in Kawasaki City ended, an official of Informatix asked our leaders their impressions or thoughts about the program and how it would benefit their own local government unit.
Immediately, I told myself, “That guy (name of public official withheld) would not surely talk in keeping with his bad reputation as chairman of the Committee on Silence in the hierarchy of leadership the guy belongs to.”
I was willing to bet at least 10,000 yen, if only there were takers. Pang shopping sana as I was certain I’d be a sure winner. Unfortunately, I was seated at the back, with no one seatmate at all, kaya wala akong kapustahan.
Governor Amado Espino III was first to talk.
At this point, the subject official (perhaps intentionally) suddenly left the conference room on the pretext that he was about to make a phone call at the peak of the discussion.
“I’m so right, iwas pusoy magsalita itong official na ito,” I told myself.
Then Mayor Belen Fernandez gave her thoughts, too, and please, let me say this, that after she talked, the two Japanese in that room applauded her.
Next was Lingayen Mayor Iday Castaneda’s turn, and she pointed to her representative, an engineer to do it in her behalf. Knowing the mayor, that’s understandable, right?
Then I saw Mr. No Talk return to his seat. Will he or will he not talk?
Oh, well, as expected, he was consistent, whether locally or internationally, as Mr. No Talk.
Buti pa ang myna bird nagsasalita. It has the ability to reproduce sounds, including human speech, when in captivity. Turuan mo sya ng ilang words nang paulit-uli at gagayahin nya.
Pero itong si Sir, ay apo, anggapo, no talk talaga.
I can’t say I pity him. Instead, I pity the electorate who put him to where he is right right now.
Oh, by the way, in their last session held in Yokohama City Fire Bureau, Mr. No Talk was already nowhere in sight. Naglaho na sya. Saan kaya siya pumunta?
But the rest of the official delegates, led by the governor, were there. They patiently waited, listened again, interacted with the Japanese until it was time to say, “Sayonara”.— Eva Visperas
FALSE, MISPLACED CONCERN — Grossly misplaced. This is how many Dagupeños view the objection of Councilor Redford Christian Erfe-Mejia to the generous donation of 1.2 hectare land near Jose de Venecia Expressway in Barangay Pantal to the Dagupan City government.
He wanted the city to reject a P60 -million worth of donation and deny the city the benefit of that donation, only because of his suspicion that the donation smacks of graft and corruption.
In his fertile mind, he suspected that the donor and his family would benefit as soon as the value of lands in the vicinity of the property being donated increase several times more than their current value.
Surprisingly, even his colleagues in the minority did not share his call to reject the donation. Indeed, why reject a gift worth millions of pesos? That would be plain stupidity.
Even Vice Mayor Brian Lim appeared to have supported the passage of the measure accepting the donation proposed by Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo by rejecting a motion for nominal voting that would allow councilors to explain their votes individually, a process that would have prolonged the discussion which was largely moot and academic.
Erfe-Mejia also dared the mayor to call a referendum among the people of the city to ask them if they want the city hall to be transferred to an area near the De Venecia Expressway which to my mind is a proposal gone too far.
Hearing that, Councilor Netu pointed out that the the city council was voting only for the acceptance of the donation and not for the transfer of city hall.
In the past, Tamayo cited the land donations accepted by the city, i.e., the lot donated by the Meneses family for today’s city hall and the entire lot where the city plaza is situated was donated by the Llamas family.
Councilor Netu said that the city and its people have much to thank Mr. Kerwin Fernandez and his family for donating their land to the city and if they did not, who else in Dagupan would be as generous, willing to part with their valued property?
He said to reject the donation as prayed for by Erfe-Mejia would tantamount to depriving future generations of Dagupenos of a convenient location for a new government center
One Dagupeño asked if the Councilor Erfe-Mejia would be willing to also donate part of his property to the city in case the other officials follow his recommendation not to accept the donation. Of course, he won’t.
Ask any Tom, Dick and Harry in Dagupan and he will tell you, only a fool would turn down a gift that is being generously given without no strings attached, motivated simply by the donor’s love for the city. – Leonardo Micua