Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia yesterday dared Mayor Monico Puentevella to “face the facts” and not hide behind political mumbo-jumbo now that everything about the state of the city’s finances is out in the open, a press release from the Bacolod Congressional Office said.
“Puentevella started this, he should be man enough to finish this by admitting he had served half-truths and twisted facts to our people in his unbridled desire to destroy me and my administration,” Leonardia said.
In his press conference last Tuesday, the new mayor refused to answer the rebuttal of Leonardia on the finances of the city, declaring instead that he will no longer entertain “idiosyncracies and immaturity.” He did not explain what he meant by these, or if they referred to himself.
Puentevella cannot just say he will not longer entertain these issues, considering that he was the one who had first launched an information and vilification campaign on them, ostensibly for “transparency,” Leonardia added in the press release.
So, for the sake of his avowed “transparency,” the Bacolod solon who is the former mayor said, I now publicly ask Puentevella to square with our people and answer the following questions:
“How much exactly was the city’s outstanding loans and their interests when Puentevella started on June 30? It was certainly not P1.007-billion as he and his minions have been telling our people, Leonardia said. “It is P613-million, out of which his administration will only have to worry about paying P95-million in 2014; P90-million in 2015 and P80-million in 2016.
“How much exactly are our debts to CENECO and BACIWA? Leonardia also asked. They are definitely not P206-million and P77-million as Puentevella would like our people to believe, he said, adding, “Or has he not known yet that our accounts with these utilities are under negotiations and that they may even be the ones who will have pay us?
“What about the Commission on Audit disallowances and suspensions, hasn’t the new mayor understood yet that these are routine procedures that simply need to be explained properly to the government auditors?” Leonardia said. He can expect to get his share of these disallowances and suspensions if he pursues projects as vigorously as we did, the former mayor also said. “I don’t think an administration that does as much as we did can escape these COA notices,” he said.
“I kept my peace at the start because I believed our people wanted us to do our work quietly,” the solon said. “But Puentevella will not give this peace to Bacolod, and instead went after me with lies and half-truths. I simply answered to defend my record. Puentevella now owes our people the true and complete picture of the city's finances after he had muddled it in his efforts to destroy me,” Leonardia added to his dare to the mayor, the press release said.*