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Candidate or ‘dancing clown?’







World-class architect and urban planner Felino “Jun” Palafox is again in the crosshairs of the politically powerful Angaras of Aurora after this column came out with two articles criticizing the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) which, I said, was a white elephant.

The Board of Architecture of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) warned Palafox his license would be revoked if he continued his crusade to scrap APECO.

Palafox, hired by governments and private corporations abroad to draw up blueprints for urban planning and renewal, claims that APECO stands on very unsafe grounds.

The ex-seminarian says that the site is in danger of liquefaction (becomes watery or mud-like during an earthquake), severe flooding and storm surges (tsunamis) during severe storms.

Because of the harassment, lawyers who were Palafox’s fellow ex-seminarians at the Divine Word Seminary (SVD) in Tagaytay have banded together to defend him.

However, one of these lawyer ex-seminarians went back to the seminary and finished priesthood because he became disgruntled with the country’s justice system.

But support for Palafox also comes from former senator Serge Osmeña, who told this columnist that the Angaras got a 20 percent kickback from the cost of the construction of the road leading to Casiguran, where APECO is located.

“You can quote me on that, Mon,” Osmeña said.

* * *

One of the candidates for the newly created 6th congressional district in Bulacan, Salvador “Ador” Pleyto, is a friend of mine from way back.

I am not campaigning for Pleyto as I’m on a self-imposed vow not to support any candidate in this election, since my siblings Raffy (for senator), Erwin and Wanda (the latter two as party-list representatives) are in the race.

I accidentally learned that Ador was running when a mutual friend told me he was a candidate.

I was told that Pleyto, who’s an Ilocano from Pangasinan, is running in Tagalog-speaking Bulacan because his wife, Girlie, is from the province.

I remember Pleyto from years back when my buddies and I would hunt deer, wild boar and wild ducks in the mountainous Mamburao town in Occidental Mindoro in the 1980s. By the way, hunting is now illegal.

Pleyto, who was then district engineer of the Ministry of Public Works and Highways (MPWH) in 1984, employed Mangyans, indigenous people in Mindoro, to work on road construction projects.

One Saturday night, during a get-to-know-session with hunters from Manila, Pleyto said Mangyans would not report on Monday and for the whole month after receiving their wages on Saturday.

He would then employ another group to replace them and another and yet another until the first group would come back to work again.

“I give them employment to help them in their poverty,” he said.

I also learned from our mutual friend that Ador has dissuaded his sons, Russel, current mayor of San Maria town, and Salvador “Badong” Jr., No. 1 councilor in the same town, from running for reelection.

“Baka manalo pa ako at magkaroon ng political dynasty sa amin (I might win and there would be a political dynasty in our place),” Ador was quoted by our mutual friend as saying.

The newly created congressional district comprises the towns of Sta. Maria, Norzagaray and Angat.

Pleyto retired as DPWH undersecretary during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

I haven’t seen him in years since he retired from government service.

Good luck, Ador!

* * *

Harry Roque, former presidential spokesman and senatorial candidate, has presented himself as a dancing clown on stage during a campaign rally.

A video of Roque’s roly-poly figure flailing his hands and shuffling his feet as if he were drowning has gone viral.

This is all because Roque, a tailender in senatorial surveys, is desperate to win votes.

But must candidates make laughingstocks of themselves on the campaign trail to please lamebrained voters?

(By the way I, too, was guilty of doing a “Roque” to court votes for senatorial candidate Bong Go among the Filipino community in Hong Kong. Go finished No. 3 in the 2019 senatorial race.)

To the credit of Salvador Panelo, former presidential legal adviser who’s also running for the Senate, he’s not doing what his fellow former Cabinet member and senatorial running mate does.

Panelo, whose fashion sense is outlandish, has not been seen dancing or performing weird acts on stage.

Panelo knows that if he does what Roque is doing, he will lose votes.

By the way, both Roque and Panelo were both good litigation lawyers before being recruited into the Duterte administration. — Ramon T. Tulfo

* * *

Joke! Joke! Joke!

A mayoral candidate who owns the only pozo negro (septic tank draining company) in his town, always wins hands down.

He runs on a platform of abundant food for his constituents.

He says that the more food they eat the more they go to their toilets.

“Both you and my business benefit,” he tells voters.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com


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