Performance vs. lies

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

THE black propaganda against Mayor Belen Fernandez launched by Dagupan Vice Mayor Brian Lim has been vicious, mainly full of concocted lies.

In politics, black propaganda has become a necessity to politicians who are bankrupt of ideas and accomplishments. The sad thing about it is Brian Lim is beginning to believe his lies himself. That’s pathetic.

Brian had the chance to redeem himself and the image of his father (former mayor BSL, who left an unresolved graft case determined by COA), but he chose to be a JCI world president than be a performing elected public official. He had the chance to show his mettle in governance but defaulted. He had a chance to upstage Mayor Belen but he didn’t know how to. He had a chance to be with his constituents in their hour of need but chose to be with Jaycees elsewhere in the world but the city.

How can he make Dagupeños believe that he will make a better chief executive when all that he was, was to be in the shadow of his father and as an absentee vice mayor?

Of course, there will be the Lim followers and the Belen haters who would be blind to accept anything that Brian dishes out to them.  But I surmise most of them were those who benefitted from the shady deals of the city government under stewardship of Mayor BSL. They deserve each other.

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BRIAN IS HIS DAD’S SON.  Recalling Brian’s disposition, the first time he became a public official as councilor, I honestly thought he would make a name for himself, much better than his dad, only to find out that he would be of the same mold.

He proved this when he protected and justified the claims of some owners of restaurant and resort establishments by the Bonuan beachfront to claim of ownership of land they were illegally occupying. Of course, he was following the lead of his dad. Tsk-tsk.

So, I doubt very much if he has the capacity to fight for what is right and legal should he continue as an elected official of the city.

Brian should count his blessings that the debate challenge he hurled at Mayor Belen didn’t materialize. A structured debate would have exposed him as someone devoid of any vision for the city since the only governance he was exposed to closely were the activities of his dad which Dagupeños were not proud of.

Given these, he can only rely now on the effectiveness of the black ops of his campaign staff to prop him up.

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MAYOR BELEN & PRRD. The COA report that confirmed that Dagupan City is the richest city in Region 1 certainly has very positive implications for the city, bad for her detractors.

This development, in fact, places her and Dagupan in similar footing with President Duterte and his administration.

Both their detractors have been warning of a financial crisis under their stewardship: Mayor Belen for daring to build a new and modern city hall for which the city will have to secure a loan that the city, they insist, will not be able to pay. In the case of President Duterte, he is being maligned for the China loans he signed, making people believe that the country will be neck deep in debt that it will enable China to take over the country’s patriarchal assets.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. The determination of COA and analysis of foreign economists (including Asian Development Bank) easily belie the malicious claims. Both sources are one in the position that the city and PH are fully capable of paying its debts because of the healthy fundamentals in the city’s and country’s economy.

In this regard, the detractors should be aware that should the time come when power has been transferred to them, and they can’t pay, they only have themselves to blame for failure of governance.

Bottom line? By their making, the detractors have no choice but to maintain the same standard of governance under Mayor Belen (and PRRD) to keep the same level of financial stability.

What have VM Brian Lim and the Otso Diretso got to show?

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MY SAMPLE BALLOT. For whatever it’s worth, I’d like to share how my sample ballot for the senatorial elections looks like:

7 Raffy Alunan / 8 Edgaro Angara / 19 Pia Cayetano / 21 Glenn Chong / 24 Ronald dela Rosa / 26 JV Ejercito / 34 Bong Go / 51 Willie Ong / 52 Serge Osmeña  / 54 Koko Pimentel  / 60 Francis Tolentino / 62 Cynthia Villar.

These are the men and women with proven probity who I’m certain will help President Duterte accomplish his national agenda for real change.  Not one has been charged for graft or corruption and their individual integrity has been proven.

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WHY NOT GRACE POE? I’ve been asked why I am not voting for Grace Poe. Here’s why: She has not done anything concrete in the senate except to hold committee hearings with TV cameras around her, to give the impression that she was working. She wasn’t.

She had the chance to contribute to real change but she chose to be a trapo. Recall that President Duterte had asked her committee in the senate to give him special powers to solve the daily EDSA gridlock. She hemmed and hewed for months only to finally reject it. That’s par for the course but for her to criticize government for failing to do something about the EDSA gridlock after refusing to help smacks of her unbridled hypocrisy. 

Then, what does she do to cover up her incompetence during the campaign? She uses the name Poe to the hilt, involves Coco Martin and Lito Lapid in her campaign sorties.

She claims to have roots in Pangasinan, it’s a lie. It’s her adopted father who had roots in Pangasinan, not her biological parents (whoever they are), certainly not her. 

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NO TO OTSO DIRETSO. Also, I have not included a single candidate from Otso Diretso because our country can’t afford to have more obstructionists in the mold of Riza Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes, Leila De Lima and Gary Alejano (mismo).  The country needs fiscalizers not obstructionists with self-serving political agenda. All they could think of was to discredit PRRD here and overseas, with no alternatives to offer.

Their group has failed to assure the country that the serious blunders that the Aquino administration committed will not be repeated. Not one has even attempted to explain and defend the charges of serious corruption practically in all departments, widespread illegal drug trade and establishment of shabu laboratories, continued influence of CPP-NPA, Abu Sayyaf, MILF and MNLF in the countryside, the ability of influence peddlers of pork barrel like Napoles to operate in all levels of government, etc.

While no one has dared to speak out on those scandals under the LP banner, not a single Otso Diretso candidate could be honest enough to admit that he/she belongs to the discredited Liberal Party.

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POGI VS. ARTHUR.  In the provincial race, I’m afraid Mayor Arthur Celeste’s time has not come. He has proven himself as an able chief executive having seen how he has transformed Alaminos City and could easily give any other politician a run for his money but his campaign team left much to be desired.

In contrast, Guv Pogi is well entrenched. With no hint of being involved in any corruption and with a string of accomplishments under his belt, I don’t see how he can lose.

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