EDITORIAL: Jilted Allies?



If the allegations of Camarines Sur Vice Governor Imelda Papin that 2nd District Representative LRay Villafuerte slapped three guards designated to provide security to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan legislative building who questioned the actuations of technicians who attempted to install CCTV camera units within each and every office located thereat is true, she has every right to slam the dastardly act.


It is the right and in fact responsibility of Papin to do so. Otherwise the popular perception that the current composition of the provincial legislative body is but a rubber stamp of the provincial executive, gains basis. Moreover, the slapping of the provincial guards if true, constitutes a criminal act.


It is therefore the obligation of the vice governor to initiate an investigation of the incident, given that the 2nd District lawmaker has no right or authority at all to encroach upon the functions and powers of the provincial government, unless he wants to be a district legislator and at the same time performing as governor of the province in place of his son Gov. Migz Villafuerte.


The incident was bound to happen given that most of the SP members and the vice governor have long been submissive to the Villafuerte’s leadership style. It need not be said that the provincial legislative body has long been under the thumbs of the elder Villafuerte and if ever the slapping incident took place it was just a culmination of a long docility of the SP members.


Perhaps the Villafuerte leadership entertained the idea that whatever they want they get, without any whimper of inquiry from the SP members who ought to perform their duties and obligations separate and distinct from the governor.


This sorry state of affairs is demonstrated particularly in the handling of the province’s annual budget, which necessarily must undergo a thorough scrutiny from the SP members in order that a budgetary ordinance may be passed. Over the past two years no annual budget ordinance has ever been publicized.


Worst, some members of the legislative body have been complaining for their not having been furnished a copy of the budgetary document, to which the budget committee has not issued any satisfactory explanation.


Papin and majority of the SP members are partly to blame for this highly irregular procedure, which could have been exposed had the live televised coverage of the session not been discarded. All that is already water under the bridge. But the taxpayers are entitled to be informed on how come that it is only now that Papin and some of the SP members are asserting their independence.


There is that sneaking suspicion that the lady vice governor’s latest pronouncements partake that of a jilted ally as demonstrated by the absence of her pictures in the tarpaulins being installed by the Villafuertes.


The same is also true for Board Member Nelson Julia, he having not been considered part of Team One Cam Sur. He has nowhere else to go once his three straight terms expire.


Generating data about certain concerns is a right move so that the total number of CCTV units is known; whether it is covered by any budgetary ordinance and who will be in control of the entire system


Why only now? Is this not a case of a belated assertion? In any case as is usually said, better late than never.