Leadership in Pampanga does not seem to be a peace of cake for Gov.Panlilio. At times, the dirty games of politics may seem as amusing and easy, but in reality playing Kapangpangan politics has been extremely trying for the players. Governor Panlilio who had beaten two political giants in one of the biggest — if not the biggest — upsets in the 2007 elections. During the campaign, he pledged to stop corruption and crush jueteng. He stopped corruption in the quarry industry.
Here’s the results;
Panlilio collected P11.6 million from quarry taxes from July 2 to 13, 2007. In collecting the amount in 10 days, Panlilio would surpass the P29.1 million collected by Mark Lapid for the entire 2006. Vice Governor Joseller Guiao would continue pursuing the graft case against the younger Lapid and provincial treasurer Vergel Yabut. Guiao noted a “discrepancy” of P337 million between the collections of the Natural Resources Development Corp. from 1999 to 2001 and the elder Lapid’s administration from 2002 to 2004. In the Ombudsman case filed in March 2007, Guiao alleged that between P600 million and P1 billion had been lost to graft from 2004 to the first two months of 2007 under the younger Lapid’s administration. Panlilio collected in just 28 working days what Gov. Lapid received in 2006 as quarry revenues. Panlilio’s collection totaled at least P29.4 million from July 2 to Aug. 8, making it the capitol’s single biggest source of local taxes.
On August 30, 2007, 7 Pampanga towns and 27 villages received P7.7 million as share from the P 22.2 million of quarry income from July 16 to August 15 of Panlilio’s administration. Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo joined mayors during brief rites for the distribution of shares at the capitol.
On September 11, Panlilio transferred P100 million from the P300-million deposit in 2 accounts from the Philippine National Bank to the Land Bank of the Philippines (per DF Order No. 27, 2005; increasing total deposits with the LBP to P200 million; P200 million with the PNB’s San Fernando and Sto. Tomas branches would be transferred to the LBP). PNB San Fernando kept quarry taxes account, and since July 2, P50-million was collected.
On September 21, the Pampanga Mayors’ League defeated Panlilio, as the provincial board (10-0 vote), approved an ordinance that granted mayors greater police powers over the quarry (and increased revenue shares for towns and villages and deleted the province’s P150 administrative fee per truckload). Panlilio stated he would “veto [Ordinance No. 172] to uphold public interests.” Quarry taxes as of September 20 was P60.22 million.
Panlilio collected P 85 million worth of quarry revenue for 5 months from July-November, 2007 and he distributed P 6 million as tax shares of the 3 towns and 11 barangays. On December 5, 2007, Lolita Hizon, chairwoman of Conscience Inc., sought probe on the “anomalies,” (recycling of quarry tax receipts), but Administrator Vivian Dabu denied the plea of Hizon’s group. Collections from June 29 to December 5 reached P 105.678 million. P 53 million would be shared by the province, 7 towns and 15 villages on a 30-30-40 % basis, respectively. On December 20, 2007, 25% of 189 members of the Biyaya A Luluguran At Sisikapan (Balas) committee, Balas Boys, shaved their heads to protest against Panlilio and solve the current standoff between him and the board.
On January, 2008, the Pampanga board chaired by Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, (ally of defeated candidate Lilia Pineda, wife of suspected “jueteng” lord Bong Pineda, and close friend of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) approved 81.4% of Panlilio’s P 1.1-billion budget request, but it removed removed P 45 million from Panlilio quarry reform fund. This money would supposedly be used to pay for the salaries of 187 quarry personnel “who would check payments of fees and help ensure that these are transmitted straight to the provincial government.” Panlilio’s quarry earned huge P 127.05 million from June 29, 2007 to Jan. 11, 2008.
QUARRY TAKE – Collector Years collected Amount:
- Gov. Bren Guiao – 1993-1994 – P 3.823 million
- Gov. Lito Lapid – 1995-2003 – P 69.176 million
- Gov. Mark Lapid 2004 – P 10.530 million; 2005-June 2007 – P 70.815 million
- Gov. Ed Panlilio – July 2007-Jan. 11, 2008 P 124.653 million
- DENR 1999-2000 – P 288.025 million
(Sources: Office of the Provincial Treasurer; Office of the Provincial Accountant; NRDC)
The billions of missing revenues from the Lahar collection under the past administrations, which Governor Panlilio has discovered since he assumed office June 30, 2007, is only the tip of the iceberg of the invasive cancer of graft and corruption afflicting every level of government in the entire country.
Unfortunately, an honest man makes crooks and villains nervous and uncomfortable, so there is now a move to eliminate “Among Ed, or oust him thru a Recall, courtesy of his enemies, including the majority of the town mayors who have lost their personal cut from the Lahar collection and other government projects, since Governor Panlilio took over.
The most difficult problem facing Gov.Panlilio is establishing the rule of law in his Province. With a bunch of corrupt politicians as well as Malacanang trying to put him down.He, however, has been hesitant to oblige.his hesitancy emanates from the fact that his opponents are using dirty tactics and digging something to use against him as a repercussions. For one thing a situation like that would create a negative image among His opponent and critics as they would then be looked upon as forces of Evil rather than Law abiding citizen. It will on the other hand increase possibility of symphatizers to the rescue in the camp of Among Ed.Me,You,Pareng Joeseg included. Also, Pampangueno elected local officials who joined the frey to recall the priest have shown throughout history that although the Governor want to implement reform is close to impossible because they are only looking after their coffers.Or should we say “Corrupt”.
The prospects to eradicate corruption as Governor’s main agenda is encouraging. People on the other sides who are being hurt by his crusade have disputed and have become exceedingly frustrated with the impasse that produce no results sa kanilang alkansya …KLing! Kling!