Q5. Bogo has had a history of intense political rivalry that isn’t seen in most parts of Cebu province. That’s why, more often than not, Bogo is in the hotspots list of the police and the Comelec. How do you account for that?
A. What history here are we talking about? How far back does this history
begin? As far as records would show it was only in 2007 that there was a faint suggestion of political rivalry in Bogo. But then it was not for a local position and not even an intense rivalry if we go by the electoral result at the time. The ruckus was raised by the opposite camp for alleged cheating on our part and for which no less than the Supreme Court twisted their accusing fingers to their own faces as the ones who engineered the cheating.
As being in the hotspots list of the police and the Comelec, that is unfortunate as there ought to have been no reason for such. In their zeal to paint Bogo as an active political volcano one barangay in the last barangay election was classified a hotspot when the running barangay captain did not even have an opponent!
Never has the history of Bogo showed any record of politically-motivated violence prior to 2007. Analysis of recent events in our town would show that these incidents of unprecedented violence were exports to Bogo in character and that members of my side were always the unfortunate victims – not the other way around. Truly it is beyond accounting on my part.
What is also beyond accounting is how come the media could not see the events in our place the way they really are? How come it appears they are always one in seeing the dirty hands of the Martinezes in every sinister thing that happens in Bogo? Where is their sense of fair play? Where is their sense of justice? Where is their thirst for truth which is supposed to be the bedrock of true journalism? Bogo is an open city…or municipality if you like. The media is always free to come and go and do its own investigation if it cares enough for unvarnished truth and for the feelings of all those needlessly wounded by its insensitive handling and careless interpretation of facts.
Q6. Do you see opportunities for young leaders not just in Bogo but also in other parts of the province? Or do you see political power kept and exercised in the same way that it was when you started as mayor in 1971 and as congressman in 1987?
A. One has to be naïve to the bone to believe that political opportunities for young leaders today are the same as those when I started in 1971. Or the same as what textbooks tell us about opportunities in a society blessed by democracy. In 1971 a young leader can win with a good campaign platform and a good smile. Today, never mind the platform and the smile: just have money to run your campaign and to pay for your votes and to pay for whoever needs to be paid so your votes could be counted. It’s a pretty much cynical view from a dyed-in-the wool democrat but except for a hair’s breadth of exaggeration that statement stands. Just look at the kind of political training we are giving our youth. It sucks and it’s sad. And I’m sorry to be part of this generation of politicians responsible for the decadence of our country’s political institutions.
Q7. As in many local governments, Bogo must include in its major concerns unemployment and poverty. With an agro-industrial economy (aided by port trading) that must still need some priming and pushing, how has Bogo coped with the problem of helping the jobless and the poor?
Definitely Bogo has its share of the jobless and the poor. Within our powers we have offered handicraft skills training, TESDA-inspired job opportunities, financial assistance to those with entrepreneurial aptitude and scholarships for students. Some of the scholarships are in partnership with schools and companies.