The following article is
contributed by a citizen of our municipality. His article doesn't express the ideas, beliefs and point of view of our institution.
Mayor Big – J suspended
Just a few months away from the national and local elections, several
local elected officials have been suspended by the ombudsman following a series of supposed to be illegal acts by the said
officials. With regard to the issues at hand the municipal mayor Joel “Big –
J” Panaligan together with other appointed officials of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro was also included in the list
for violating the Revised Penal Code, “Illegal use of public funds and property.”
Basis for suspension
Last year, Mayor Panaligan has faced charges against him which entails
about falsification of the payroll of casual employees which are not under his jurisdiction. Vice Mayor Leonilo Villanueva, who filed the said charges against the mayor said that the affected employees are
not employed in the office of the mayor which gives the latter no right of signing their payroll.
Mayor Panaligan however erred that he was just giving what is due
to the employees for the services they rendered to the municipal government. He followed that Vice - Mayor Villanueva does
not want to sign the payroll of the employees who were not receiving their compensation for months. The said casuals seek
help of the mayor asking them to sign their payroll which in return was signed by Mayor Panaligan in good faith not realizing
that he was violating administrative and criminal law in the process.
Vice – Mayor Villanueva commented on the issue and said that
he was just penalizing the said employees who usually were not able to come to work on time and report on their respected
duties and responsibilities.
6 months suspension without
According to the Department
of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Mayor Panaligan will be suspended for six (6) months without pay for his simple
misconduct together with the appointed officials of the municipality.
Other media establishments and broadcasting companies however reported
that the Mayor will only be suspended for one month which confuses the people of Mamburao.
As of this point, the website of DILG provided some key facts about the term of suspension of the
mayor together with the appointed officials.
Several interviews conducted by this organization produced a lot of
speculations with regard to the suspension of Mayor Big – J. Several townsfolk believed that the actions against the
Mayor are brought about by his political enemies who in turn will be his opponent in the upcoming local election.
A top local official who asked not to be name said that the suspension
were spearheaded by aspiring mayors of the municipality and have utilized their own connections in the higher government departments
to cause the downfall of Mayor Panaligan. The said official however was not able to present the names of the individuals who
were behind in the recent actions against the Mayor.
Mayor Panaligan however was not able to reach for comments because
he was tending to his supporters who have picketed in the compound of the municipal hall showing their support to the former.
Vice Mayor Villanueva have recently been appointed as acting Mayor
and was able to perform an oath taking ceremony amidst the political crisis going on during the program. According to reliable
sources, the first administrative action by the acting mayor was to lay off all 248
employees who were perceived to be supporters or allies of the ousted mayor.
2007 Local Elections
Four months to go before the local elections, the interested parties
who are very vocal in their interest to run as local officials have been seen around the locality trying to grasp and feel
their chances of winning.
Board Member Fe Abeleda - Legaspi, the last termer from District One of the province has recently made known to
the public her interest for the mayoralty. Mrs. Legaspi who is under the wings of Governon
Nene Ramirez – Sato most of her time is now under the contention of Mayor Joel Panaligan in their bid to be the
standard bearer of the “Dream Team”, the known political organization
of Governor Sato.
Board Member Legaspi which will end his final term this June as a
Board Member for the province is a well known political icon in Mindoro battling her way to three (3) straight terms in the provincial board. However,
through her (nine) 9 years in public service several constituents of Mamburao is in doubt of her capabilities when it comes
to running the functions of municipality because of her lack of outputs in the provincial board during her three terms in
Mayor Panaligan will surely run for his second term this May avenging his suspension supposed to be brought
about by his political enemies especially those active in government service right now. Known for his compassion towards his
peers he will utilize all the powers that he may acquire to succeed in his second term of office. During the last election,
Mr. Panaligan have acquire the support of several organizations in the locality most specifically the Philippine Guardians who have a lot of members all registered as voters in the municipality. Several Guardians
member who asked also not to be name have expressed their disgust over the current actions by their leader (Panaligan) which
leads to them in expressing; “Ginagamit nya lang naman kami tuwing eleksyon”.
Both of the said local officials (Legaspi and Panaligan) are fighting
their way to please the incumbent governor who will choose in the end who will represent their political party for the mayoralty
Streamers of Bambi Villarosa
can also be seen in several key areas in the municipality. The son of former Governor
Villarosa and incumbent Congresswoman Amelita Villarosa have expressed his intentions to run as mayor for Mamburao. Mr. Villarosa
is not known to the residents of the town which is because he usually prefers the “sceneries” in the municipality of San Jose
where the mansion of the Villarosa’s resides. Overall, the strength of the “V-
Clan” will be tested come election time if Mr. Villarosa will succeed in his bid in becoming the mayor of this town.
Other independent aspiring mayors of the municipality have not yet
erred their intentions to run. Ex- Mayor Alan T. Aquino is as of present in the
U.S. together with his brother ABC Alvin
Aquino. As of press time they were not able to render their intent to run and reliable sources said they were asking Engineer Jun Almero to run instead of them, because according to them it is his time.
Engr. Almero one of the top candidates who run last 2004 Elections lost in a close margin bowing out after a strong start
during the campaign period. Mr. Almero a well known Civil Engineer and public administrator who graduated from the University
of the Philippines – Diliman have remain silent with regards to the political turmoil in the locality brought about
by other aspiring mayors. It is not clear as of yet if Engr. Almero will run as mayor, but if he decides to pursue his bid
he will be immediately tagged as one of the top candidates for the mayoralty because of his qualifications and experience
in government and public service.
Ex – Board Member Dodjie Rebong, who also run last 2004 were reported to run again this election but not for mayor but for the slot in the provincial board.
The vice mayor-ship of the municipality will be contested by the incumbent
Leonilo Villanueva and 1st
councilor Lyn Tria. On recent surveys, Councilor Tria have the upper hand against the current vice mayor because of the
latter’s recent actions.
Councilor Donald Tadeja will serve out his last term as a councilor of the municipality and will run for
the provincial board on May.
Overall, it is clear that certain politicians are making their way
towards attaining their ultimate goal in winning in the upcoming election. Whether their actions are detrimental to the needs
and welfare of others, they don’t care as long as their winning the votes of the people. When will the time comes when
the citizens of Mamburao will be tagged as intelligent voters? See our municipal hall for example, 4 years under construction
and still not a reliable and fruitful output. Come election time, let us utilize our right for they only come every three
years. CAST YOUR VOTES TO THOSE WHO ARE CAPABLE OF LEADING AND
RESTORING THE GLORY OF MAMBURAO. DISREGARD THE TRADITIONAL POLITICIANS. WE DON’T NEED THEM.
Article contributed by: James
Martinez, a constituent of Mamburao