Dangerous proposition in Dagupan City

By May 18, 2021Punchline

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


WITH just less than a year before 2022 elections, Dagupan Mayor Brian Lim is proposing another dangerous proposition that will likely further slowdown, if not completely push back the development of Dagupan City with widespread corruption in the city hall.

Recall that when Mayor Lim recently directed the passage of the city ordinance to allow alien bangus, particularly from Bulacan, to be legally dumped and sold as Dagupan Bangus by Bulacan bangus traders, he made it possible for them to exploit the Dagupan Bangus brand in the domestic and international market.  Mayor Lim literally wrote the epitaph for the city’s major and popular aquaculture product in return for huge monthly kickbacks only known to the Barkada at least for the next 12 months!

Now comes his proposal to create his “Executive Management Group” that will ostensibly exercise powers reserved for the city chief executive under the Local Government code.

The creation of an EMG gives the impression that the city needs talents of a pool of professionals and experts in management and political science to effectively promote the city’s development. Is it? It sounds more like Mr. Lim realizes this late that he is not capable of running the city government. Or is it meant to be the last hurrah for the Barkada because Mr. Lim is no longer confident of winning a reelection?

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LEGITIMACY FOR THE BARKADA. Hiding behind the mambo-jumbo of the nomenclature on management, it is really nothing but a ploy for the city to enable his Barkada to earn legitimate monthly salaries while pursuing racketeering activities and utilizing city funds for kickback opportunities. And hold your breath, guess who will be men and women that will be appointed as key member: Of course, who else but Mr. Lim’s circle that concocted series of activities that deprived government of revenues but fattened pockets of his Barkada with kickbacks and protection money.  

Recall again that it was the Barkada that made baratillo a permanent fixture in the city instead of installing these for special occasions for a limited period, i.e., fiesta, Bangus Festival, etc. It’s the same group that wanted the Tondaligan Beach open throughout Holy week for a quick protection racket victimizing vendors, the same group that made city government spend millions monthly for collection and delivery of daily trash to Tarlac by stopping the contract for the establishment of the Energy-to-Waste program in Bonuan.  It’s the same group that made sure the proliferation of illegal fish pens operations are unhampered, and the same group that planned for a Bangus Festival as cover-up for the invasion of the Bulacan Bangus.  

It’d be interesting to see how the city auditor treats these activities in her annual  report, particularly how much the city government earned and lost from these dubious operations.  

Given the city’s experience with the Barkada, the only professional service that can be expected from Mr. Lim’s EMG is to increase the take-home money of the Barkada from kickbacks.  

By the way, it is the same group that suggested the use of city funds for an outing of favored kapitans hosted at the Sun Valley Golf course in Clark City last week and made to appear as Lakbay-Aral. Mayor Brian and some kapitan played golf, of course. Salamat Dagupan City, daw!

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GRAND DECEPTION. The deception for the Barkada starts by announcing the immediate implementation of the “comprehensive” recommendations of, get this, the 1993 and 2001 UP study to improve local governance. To impress his constituents of the urgency of the need to implement the UP study, Mr. Lim and Barkada want the creation of the EMG as the first phase, the rest to be implemented next year. Isn’t the agenda much too obvious?

After the EMG is created, next in Mr. Lim’s script will finally be to ask UP to review and update the outdated (more than 20-28 -year old recommendations) next year before these are implemented.  He will likely acknowledge that the onset of paperless transactions and technology were not inputted in the formation of the recommendations. Conclusion: There will be no 2nd and 3rd phase! Only the EMG is in the agenda! Wanna bet?

But here’s the worst attempt at deception… Mr. Lim or his mom, Councilor Celia, is not acknowledging the fact that the creation of the EMG is not included in the set of recommendations of 28-year old UP studies being invoked. But today it is being made the urgent feature for the planned top-to-bottom reorganization. Worse, Mr. Lim did not, and is not even considering sending the 2001 recommendations and the creation of EMG to UP for evaluation, and understandably so. He and the Barkada know it can’t possibly pass first base with the skeptical minds of political scientists in the academe. Even the DBM already expressed serious doubts about the legality of the EMG.

City Administrator Vlad Mata, a master’s degree holder graduate in public administration knows this too well. The fact that his view of the proposal is not being sought that will Umake the city administrator a mere custodian of city’s records, speaks volumes of where he stands –  he will allow his patron and Barkada free rein to do the illegal process.  Hindi pa rin nagbago! He refuses to stand up for what’s right and the truth.

And here’s the final giveaway to the illegal process: Mr. Lim does not want the EMG members to be accountable to the city government except to the mayor – to him only.

It will be “kami-kami” operations.

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JUDASES IN 2012. This new scheme reminds us of the time when Mr. Lim’s father, then former Mayor Benjie Lim, in conspiracy with the members of the city council, sold the MC Adore with terms greatly disadvantageous to the city in 2013. We’ve come to know them as Judas 9 led by then Councilor Brian Lim doing a father-son tandem, they who did all to pass the ordinance without considering the city’s interests. It was all plain CITY’S INTERESTS FOR SALE by the city government under Mayor BSL!  

Now comes the incumbent mayor, son of the Mayor BSL seeking to ram the creation of the EMG for his Barkada down the city’s throat, with no clear advantage to the city but for the Barkada – only CITY’S INTERESTS FOR THE BARKADA!   

Will we see another batch of a shameless group of Judases again, this time headed by a Lim son-mother tandem? Many may have forgotten that three of today’s councilors were part of our “Judas 9” in 2012 that conspired to sell MC Adore. Then Judas 9 member Councilor Dada Reyna is seen leading the pack this time, as sponsor of  the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Celia. Councilors Karlo Reyna and Chito Samson were one with the Judas 6 (all retired) as well. Will they have a change of heart this time? 

Who and how many and who will make 2021’s Judases, they who will endorse the “reorganization” that will start with the creation of the EMG without question? Who will sell out Dagupan this time? For how much?

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