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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 26, 2013
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UNA disputes claims in
VG letter to Roxas

The United Negros Alliance led by re-electionist Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr. and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Melvin Ibañez yesterday dismissed as a desperate act and a clear propaganda to gain media mileage the letter-complaint sent by Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez and nine other provincial board members to Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas II.

“It is as clear as the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. We have substantially answered the half-truths and fact-twisting attempts they earlier made during our debate, in media fora and interviews. They know deep in their hearts that I cannot implement programs without authority from the Sanggunian. All the projects they had brought before the attention of the good DILG secretary have the imprimatur of the same people who are now questioning it,” Marañon pointed out in a press release.

Such ill-advised action is politically-motivated, the governor continued.

“They are simply escaping accountability and responsibility,” Marañon added.

This is the nth time that the Alvarez camp published full-page advertisements in, at least, two local dailies against the governor, repeating over and over again the innuendoes against Marañon, the UNA press release said.

UNA noted that the camp of Alvarez lacked real issues and are resorting to knee jerk moves just to cover up the wide gap of its candidates against the United Negros Alliance bets in the run-up to the May 13 balloting, the press release added.

The sheep breeding program and the establishment of the Negros First Ranch in Murcia are covered by corresponding ordinances approved unanimously by the SP, UNA said.

The Negros First Cyber Centre was presented twice by former Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue before Sanggunian members headed by Alvarez, who gave the project the green light.

The construction of the two-storey, 24-classroom building was part of the provincial government’s legal agreement with the Department of Education in exchange for DepEd’s return of ownership of the historical Paglaum Sports Complex to the Capitol, while the expansion of the Tersita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, and the construction of both the Alfredo Marañon Sr. Memorial Hospital in Barangay Bato, Sagay City and the Merceditas Montilla District Hospital in Sipalay City, are all covered by authority from the Sanggunian as well.

All these projects went through a transparent bidding procedure as prescribed under Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act,” Jose Ma. Valencia, the governor’s chief of staff, said.

“Now they are clearly running away from their responsibility,” Valencia said.

Ibañez, the running mate of Marañon, agreed with the governor.

“We were all unanimous in these projects that my colleagues are now questioning. The people of Negros know that they belong to the other side so they are out to say negative things against their rivals. It is, however, ironic, because, in effect, they are also contradicting themselves,” Ibañez added.

Two other allies of the governor in the Sanngunian came to the governor’s defense.

“The truth of the matter is that all this is because of politics. We’ll see after elections what will happen to the complaints they had lodged. But then, again, it’s very obvious that this all boils down to politics,” SP Member Salavador Escalante of the Second District, said.

Board Member Miller Serondo agreed, adding that he himself was surprised why their names were included in the full-page advertisement. “I don’t know why our names were there in the letter. I suppose that’s not an official (Sanggunian) letter,” he said.*

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