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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 14, 2013
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3 congressional
bets hurl barbs

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Three congressional candidates in Bacolod City hurled issues against each other at the candidates’ forum on the Morning Show of ABS-CBN yesterday.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia questioned the P4 billion worth of projects, that Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. claimed he had brought to the City.

Golez said the funds he brought to Bacolod came from some senators and government leaders he had sought help from. “If they contributed the funds, it is not my fault,” he said.

Leonardia said if Golez’s claims are true, many of his projects could have been felt in Bacolod.

Perhaps, Golez was referring to the projects funded by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the mayor said, citing the repair and tile works at Lacson Street and other projects in Sum-ag and Brgy. 16.

“If you talk about hospital projects, the improvements at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital were made possible with the help of Senator Franklin Drilon since its chief of hospital is his younger brother, Dr. Julius Drilon,” Leonardia said.

Golez, in his opening statement, said he is not a thief and that when he filed his certificate of candidacy, he was able to present an Ombudsman clearance.

“I do not know if my opponents have shown their Ombudsman clearance to show they have no graft cases,” he said.

Leonardia replied that, in politics, there are people who are envious and have filed cases against him. But all these cases have already been dismissed, he said.

“But if you have no accomplishments, no one will mind you and that is the reason why no cases have been filed against you,” he added.

Meanwhile, congressional candidate Lyndon Caña, clarified he has no hearing problems, in reaction to the statement of Golez that he had not mentioned about the privatization of hospitals.

Golez said what he mentioned was modernization (referring to a bill he had authored on the modernization of government hospitals).

Caña said “When you use the word modernization for hospitals, the effect is privatization of government-owned and controlled corporations.”

On the other hand, Leonardia said a congressman will be able to get more help if he is close to the administration.

“One thing that has been established is that we, (referring to mayoralty candidate Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and vice mayoralty candidate Greg Gasataya of Grupo Progreso,) are the official candidates of the administration through Team PNoy,” he said.

“We believe we were chosen on the basis of our track record, our competence and our proven loyalty to our political commitments,” he said.

Leonardia said the chances of success being with the administration and the possibility that one could secure more projects for Bacolod is greater, as against one who is not known to the administration, or worse, if one is an enemy of the administration.*CGS

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