Monday, March 05, 2007

Capitol Owes City Hall an Apology

Except for the Capiz leg, the campaign sortie of the Genuine Opposition (GO) in Panay last week was one big, uncoordinated mess:

"More than 1,000 people attended the GO rally in Roxas City Friday courtesy of Sen. Mar Roxas, the acknowledged rising son of Capiz. GO candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said Roxas has always been very supportive of his fellow Liberals even when he was still trade secretary under the Estrada administration.

"We will give the support back in 2010," Aquino told students of the Capiz State University, hinting that Roxas might make a run for the presidency. "It took only about 24 hours or less for Sen. Roxas to mobilize the people. We are very grateful," Sonia Roco said.

Loren Legarda said the country is blessed with a a highly-skilled workforce and bountiful natural resources but a majority of its people continue to live in poverty.
She said despite Capiz’ rich marine and agricultural resources, 65 percent of its families have annual incomes lower than the national average. "Capiz is not the seafood capital for nothing. It also produces sugarcane, palay, coconut and cut flowers. So, if the province is rich, its people should also benefit," she said.

Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III challenged candidates of President Arroyo to justify their senatorial run when they campaigned hard for the abolition of the Senate at the height of the administration’s effort to amend the charter. "Running for senator under an ‘Abolish the Senate Platform’ is simply illogical. They are perpetrating a fraud upon the people," he said. Pimentel said the Arroyo-anointed candidates, once elected to the Senate, are expected to follow the administration’s game plan to revive charter change." – by Dennis Gadil and JP Lopez

But Capiz was the exeption rather than the rule. Earlier, GO cancelled its Iloilo and Antique rallies because of poor planning, coordination and preparation. GO's decision to cancel its rally in Iloilo supposedly due to unspecified "security threats" has caused quite a stir in the city. Reacting to the opposition's penchant of crying "security threat" each time they cancel their rally, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas (who is also President of the League of City Mayors) sarcastically warned his fellow mayors to watch out when GO comes campaigning in their respective areas as they might also fall victim to stories of "security threats." As it was amply reported in the national media last week, Treñas bemoaned the fact that the controversy put his city in a bad light. “I’ve been in politics since 1987 as city councilor and I never heard of any threat or trouble during political rallies here. If there is any threat, that would be in Plaza Miranda but not here,” Treñas said referring to the 1971 bombing of the Liberal Party rally. “We take any threat seriously. But we do not want that some elements will tarnish the reputation of the city just because of political differences,” Treñas said. “We had handled more than a million Dinagyang crowd and there was no security threat and everyone was safe. Such things clearly show that the city is safe,” he added.

Treñas also said: “We are striving to promote Iloilo City as we are trying to come up with positive developments. And in just one click, our efforts were all gone. It hurts – it’s unfair as we have been working hard for the promotion of the city. What will come to the mind of the investors – what will become of our city promotions?” said Treñas.

I think Iloilo Capitol officials owe Mayor Treñas and the people of Iloilo City an apology not only for lying about the true reasons behind their decision to cancel the rally but more importantly to correct the damage they have done to the city's image as a peaceful, civilized place (read more here, here, here and here).

1 comment:

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