Aug 29, 2006

Rats

Purged this blog and decided to rest a bit from the rantings and ravings, but then...


The mayor’s suspension has been upheld, with finality so it seems. First issued by Malacañang, reversed or revised – I’m not so sure – by an interior undersecretary, and then eventually reaffirmed by the secretary himself. Mr. Braulio Yaranon committed grave abuse of authority, the pronouncement pronounced, when he issued an administrative order to take back the streets of Baguio from Jadewell, a pay parking firm, whose contract with the city is tainted with corruption, and later when he encouraged the people of the city not to honor Jadewell’s authority to collect parking fees from motorists.

This is one of those moments when one wishes that the national government laid off the locals' backs and let them run their own affairs, a time when one tends to give constitutional change a second look and give federalism a chance. It’s amazing that a cabinet secretary, appointed by a questionable president, can disregard the sentiments of the overwhelming voting majority of the city, and suspend him for his actions that the overwhelming majority of the city supports, on an issue that was among the main reasons the overwhelming majority voted for him in the first place.

So now, the cat’s been taken away by a lapdog, and the rats are out. Suddenly the council woke up on the issue with a resolution to cancel the contract due to the many violations they say Jadewell has committed. Those are the same reasons Yaranon and the overwhelming majority have been raving about and the council has been disregarding the past couple of years. If not for the obvious reasons that last year was still too far from next year’s local elections and Jadewell’s resources continue to flow into several bank accounts, it would have been admirable to see the city council taking such an apparent unpopular stand when the mayor was in the heat of battle against Jadewell. From a certain point of view, their stubborn defense of Jadewell may have looked like a perfect example of principled public service that doesn’t just give in to popular demands. But, elections are just around the corner, and taking unpopular stands at this point is a big political risk. And besides, the suspicion of some, according to news reports and local op-ed ramblings, is that Jadewell spent quite a considerable amount to secure that suspension order, if this is true, then the expense must have taken a considerable bite into the alleged local payola budget, and the once steadfast defenders of the Jadewell contract are now suddenly singing a different song, one that the people have been singing in a loud unified chorus for a long time now.

Poor Yaranon, with his suspension, believe you me that even the rats that got elected because of their association with him will now capitalize on that and disown him, even condemn him and his actions, and position themselves for next year’s election. It makes me puke that none of them have stood up to defend the old guy when if not for him, if not for the fact that they got elected only because they were in the same party with him, had their mugs posted alongside his, they'd still be beauty pageant contestants or bumming around.

The only welcome development that may arise from the suspension is that the flies that hover around Yaranon’s office will now dissipate. Those flies have been lording it over city hall since day one and fattening their pockets with every transaction with the mayor’s office they facilitate. But no reason to be happy about that either, since those taking over the reins bring with them their own opportunist flies who will also surely make a mockery of public service.

To the ones taking over, jaded as a lot of us in Baguio has become, please prove us wrong.

And the only people who are genuinely happy with the latest turn of events are the two pimps who prostituted the city during their reign.

Let’s hope the people of Baguio see through the charades. The people began a partial revolution when they booted out a corrupt regime in the last elections. Hopefully next year the revolution will be a complete one that will bring about a complete cleansing of city hall – from the mayor, to the vice mayor, to every member of the city council.

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