The Lone Man of Pampanga

Robert Bolisay, Jr.

A friend in the media has told me that this about 8-month-provincial revenue under Governor Ed Panlilio is much higher than the whole gubernatorial term collection when stuntman-turned action star-turned politician Lito Lapid was still the governor.

I am talking about the quarry revenue in Pampanga that reached P153.6 million as of February 20, since Gov. Ed took over as governor on June 30, 2007.

The quick questions in my mind were why the previous administration was not able to do such? What happened?

I ask my friend if he could acquire a black and white of what he was telling me. The revenue reports during the Lapid term and the present one, so I could do some juxtaposition.

Now, the lone man of Pampanga, Panlilio, is about to be charged with graft case. According to the news, the lawyers of his vice governor, Joseller Guiao, are preparing the case.

Why?

Firstly, why I said he is the lone man of Pampanga? His vice governor said that the 13-provincial board authorized him to file the case against Ed with the Ombudsman.

Now, why he is about to be charged with the graft case? Because of his alleged refusal to implement a new quarry ordinance.

That new ordinance was endorsed by the Pampanga Mayor’s League in August 2007. Then, the provincial board approved it on September 2007.

I am sure you see clearly he is the lone man of Pampanga.

The Pampanga Mayor’s League endorsed the ordinance. The 13-member provincial board approved it. When Panlilio allegedly refused its implementation, the board authorized the vice governor to file the charges. The vice governor said his lawyers are preparing the case against Panlilio.

So, what Gov. Ed has to say about this?

He said that the implementing rules and regulations were submitted to the Commission on Audit, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Finance for the agencies perusal.

Now, if it is true, then, when Panlilio said that the ordinance is in the process of implementation by his office, he is telling the truth.

If I were the vice governor or a member of the board, I would confirm with the three agencies if they had received any from Panlilio’s office.

If they did receive, it may mean that what the Vice, the Board, and the League is saying does not hold any water.

What is with the ordinance by the way?

The Ordinance No. 176 led to the creation of the provincial federation of quarry association and municipal association of quarry operators, and also required the purchase of official receipts by the authorized representative of the provincial federation. The said new quarry law also gives regulatory powers to the mayors.

According to Panlilio, the ordinance impaired his regulatory powers to mop shenanigans in the multimillion-peso sand business.

Gov. Ed, perhaps, is true in straightening out the said mischiefs in sand hauling in Pampanga.

We have found, perhaps, an honest government officer here in the person of Ed.

He is able to increase quarry collections for Pampanga, which is considered to be the highest collection so far.

I believe he has proven something. He, the Vice, the Board, and the League ought to work together for the benefit of the people of Pampanga.

The next I would like to find out is how the grass root will benefit from the revenue. #

–Robert Bolisay, Jr.

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