By Ermin Garcia Jr.
IF you are wondering why the activities of the seven notorious epaLiFes who claim to be dedicated public servants (Councilors Red Erfe-Mejia, Celia Lim, Dada Reyna-Macalanda, Alfie Fernandez, Alvin Coquia, Irene Lim-Acosta and Marilou Fernandez) continue to hug The PUNCH headlines, here’s why – It is not to help rally to their cause but to exhibit the continuing idiocy of their plots and schemes to sabotage the Belen Fernandez administration.
It’s about the activities of the gang of 7 bullies, they who couldn’t care less what and how their mindless tact after tact tarnish the revered legacies of their parents and grandparents. (For the first time in the city council’s history, didn’t they ask that the minutes of a regular meeting be deleted, without explaining what should be in its place??). Grabe!
Their last headline – grabbing idiotic act was to ask Mayor Belen to stop the DPWH from continuing with the construction of the planned elevation of drainage system and streets. Geez, this is akin to them inside their high school class asking their math teacher to stop giving weekly quizzes because it stresses them! Grabe talaga!
But let’s give them credit for at least being consistent in not comprehending consequences of whatever comes out of their mouths and minds. In this case, it‘s obvious it didn’t occur to them that assuming the mayor can stop the DPWH (but it can’t), stopping the construction at this stage will worsen and aggravate the situation for their friends’ businesses. Imagine, DPWH abandoning all the dug streets, semi-constructed elevation drainage walls in their present state! The businessmen, students, commuters, tricycle and jeepney drivers will be demanding that they be hung in their blue and white campaign uniforms by the abandoned projects.
But don’t expect the 7 epaLiFes’ teeny weeny brains to go that far in rationalizing anything.
So, in short, asking Mayor Belen to make DPWH to stop was really a lame attempt to make something out of the useless joint committee hearings they conducted. It was still about their self-conceit that’s paramount. But in doing so, they just ended up looking stupider for not even understanding from the very beginning that a local ordinance cannot take precedence over a national law.
On the other hand, I thought Mayor Belen was being kind and diplomatic when she told her department heads not to waste their time in the 7 epaLiFes committee hearings. She could have told the 7 epaLiFes to their faces: “You are all plain stupid to think that you think you can make the city government accountable to your birdbrained whimsical calls!” (Could that be what she intended to say?)
So, what can be made out of their last attempt to make Mayor Belen accountable? I say: It was plain idiotic, basta may masabi lang, as usual, without thinking! Pathetic!
Meanwhile, Mayor Belen should already move to force the hand of the 7 epaLiFes to approve 2023 budget by filing the administrative and criminal cases she pledged to file against them and their cohorts who were documented to have stolen from the city coffers. Without this, the city hall employees can’t get their salary increases, etc.!
The ball is clearly now in her court! If she doesn’t do as she threatened, she can be already be blamed for not lifting a finger for the city.
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CHANCES FOR REDEMPTION. But the 7 epaLiFes are not really out of worthy calls, that is if they only care to be true, dedicated public servants working for the good of the city.
Here are two chances for their redemption:
- Councilor Celia Lim and daughter Irene can follow up on the revelation of Engr. Rodolfo Dion, a former top official of the Second Pangasinan Engineering District, during one of the public hearings of their committees.
Recall that Mr. Dion said the narrow and silted Pantal-Sinocalan River is one of the main causes of severe flooding in Dagupan City, adding that illegal encroachments by businessmen with no-objection from past city administrations allowed these to happen.
Both mother-daughter councilors can file a motion challenging Mayor Belen to submit a list of illegal encroachments along the river channel.
But they likely won’t do it. Why? Because on top of that list will surely be the thousands of square meters of illegally reclaimed land (from the river) for the warehouse of the Magic Company (owned by the Lim company) in Barangay Malued.
Nonetheless, I still challenge them to do it because who knows, they might be different from son and brother Brian.
2. Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia can file a motion challenging Mayor Belen to demolish the more than 1,000 illegal fish pens around island barangays because these have been contributing to the heavy siltation of the rivers that cause severe flooding in the city.
So far and for reasons only known to her, Mayor Belen never pointed to the continued operations of the illegal fish pens as one of the major causes of flooding in the city. Strange, right? So, here’s one that will make Mayor Belen back off.
But like Councilors Celia and Irene, I seriously doubt that Councilor Red will want to do that as well. To see her accept his challenge and demolish all the illegal fish pens would mean cutting off the monthly pay-offs in millions being paid by the greedy businessmen that own and operate the illegal fish pens. Ninety-nine percent of these were constructed during his partner Mayor Brian Lim’s term. (One percent was tolerated by Mayor Belen?). There’s no way the well-meaning councilor can deny this happened as soon as Mayor Brian took over city hall. After all, didn’t he and the ex-mayor make certain that the public would be well aware that he is the mayor’s best friend and sidekick?
But I guess given how they have acted so far, it’s simply impossible to believe that the 7 epaLiFes are capable of doing something truly beneficial to the city as responsible public servants. They are simply not the kind who will risk personal interests.
Didn’t they dare reject the 2023 annual budget submitted by Mayor Belen, never mind that it will seriously impact on the welfare for city hall employees, programs for the youth and senior citizens because they could not get the P100,000 in monthly allowances (via appointments of 10 job order contracts) for each of them?
So, let’s just see more idiotic scheming by the hypocrite public servants who will be seeking reelection in 2025.
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WHAT HAPPENED, MR. GUICO? Just when we thought the Guico administration was keen on upholding laws, particularly, going after illegal occupants of land by the baywalk from Lingayen to San Fabian, Mr. Guico is suddenly muted. Why?
Nothing has been heard about subsequent steps taken to pursue his vision. Nothing from him, his PIO, his loyal Vice Guv Lambino, his executive assistant Von Mark Mendoza. Nothing even from Cong. Mark Cojuangco. Nothing from the provincial assessor or the provincial DENR office on the status of their operations on the issue since Mr. Guico declared war on those whom he charged as landgrabbers.
Does this mean Mr. Guico had a change of heart when told that he’s up against VIPs who can make his life miserable? I sure hope our gutsy Guv Mon-mon’s heart is not one made of mamon after all.
Damn the torpedoes, Mr. Guico! This can be your best legacy yet!
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