No House inquiry? Scared of Don Poncio Pilato?

By Alex P. Vidal

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”— Plato

YEAR 2022 has passed but not a single Iloilo politician concerned has openly reiterated the call of Pavia Councilor Pyt Trimañez to hold a House inquiry on the P680-million flyover projects initiated by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Ungka and Aganan in Pavia, Iloilo.

Trimanez’s resolution, which was passed unanimously by the Sangguniang Bayan of Pavia before Christmas 2022, specifically called for Iloilo lawmakers Julienne Baronda (Iloilo City), Dr. Janette Loreto-Garin (Iloilo, First District), Michael Gorriceta (Iloilo, Second  District), Atty. Lorenz Defensor (Iloilo, Third District), Dr. Ferjenel Beron (Iloilo, Fourth District), Raul Tupas (Iloilo, Fifth District), James Ang (Uswag Partylist), Lex Anthony Colada (Aambis Owa Partylist), and Raoul Manuel (Kabataan Parylist) to initiate a formal congressional investigation on why the project’s opening was delayed (or, let’s call spade a spade, why it was reported to be sinking).

Unless they didn’t have access to print, TV, and broadcast media and they didn’t have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, or Instagram accounts and had no idea what’s going on, it’s inconceivable why none of them responded to the clarion call made by the Pavia legislature. (If it’s about the Maharlika grand thievery perfect attendance? If about public interest and welfare see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil?)

Or is it because some (if not most of) them call Don Poncio Pilato,

a known political Santa Claus during the local elections, “Tito”, “Ninong”, “Boss”, “Sir”? Political utang na loob? Election campaign donor? Capo di tutti capi? 

Are they ashamed or scared of him? Or both?


The people have been impatient and are so disturbingly outraged now that it is 2023 and they’re still facing a blank wall in this monumentally shameful and scandalous project.

The flyovers were supposed to help arrest the growing and irritating traffic gridlock in that highway before the 2022 Yuletide season. What happened was the opposite.

It’s not only double jeopardy (a waste of the taxpayers’ money and the terrible inconvenience being experienced by the motorists), it’s now a triple whammy (a waste of the taxpayers’ money, terrible inconvenience on the motorists, and our congresspeople’s apathy, lackadaisical attitude, cowardice, mental dishonesty, and laziness).

The Ilonggos feel hoodwinked, taken for a ride, and are revolting!

No inquiry means no one will be held accountable for whatever negligence or irregularity that might have transpired in the project conceptualized during the term of Senator Franklin Drilon.

No inquiry means Don Poncio Pilato – who can make any impostor instant congressman and make any scumbag instant councilor with his money and influence – will remain unfazed and continue to laugh while hopping from one table to another in the hotel dining hall, footing the bills of the meals of who’s who in the business, political, and media circle as if nothing happened.


We are talking here of a phylum Chordata elephant, not a pinworm or Stingless bee and butterfly; it’s about nearly a quarter billion pesos worth of infrastructure project financed by the taxpayers, not just the repair of a wet market, waiting shed, sidewalk right of way, farm-to-market road, or barangay asphalt overlay project.

Because of the apparent defects in the structural designs, the flyover in Ungka was ordered closed on September 18, 2022, only days after it was opened to the motorists.

In others words, even the DPWH has acknowledged that something was critically abnormal and not good in the flyover’s “sinking foundations.”

If the contractor has been paid in full and the project is now in a state of tragedy, it will be the taxpayers what will end up in a horrific state of calamity.

By the way, the silence of retired politician, Senator Drilon is also deafening. What gives?

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor or two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)