By Herbert Vego
BECAUSE of the Sandiganbayan’s decision dismissing the graft case against Antique Governor Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao, she may now be laughing aloud, enjoying her uninterrupted power at the provincial capitol.
A provincial board member yesterday asked for my opinion on the Sandiganbayan’s amended order which lifted her unimplemented 90-day preventive suspension, citing “lack of jurisdiction” in response to Cadiao’s motion for reconsideration.
Being a non-lawyer, I could only answer, “Wa ko sey. It appears irreconcilable that the judge who had imposed the suspension was the same one who lifted it.”
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Antonio dela Vega, retired head of the Provincial General Services Office, before the Office of the Ombudsman, accusing Cadiao of non-payment of ₱1.665 million for his salaries and other benefits from 2016 to 2018.
I would rather not belabor the matter. I am confused, since it’s the Sandiganbayan that has the sole jurisdiction on any information filed before it by the Ombudsman.
It was Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Maria Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta who signed both the sus[ension and its lifting.
The suspension order, though dated September 21, 2023 yet, has never been served, allegedly because it had never reached the implementing agency – the region 6 office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). I don’t know why.
But that reminds me of my previous column (Daily Guardian, Sept. 29) asking, “Was Cadiao counting on VP Sara’s ‘intervention’”?
A Maritess whispered to me that the governor had “settled” Tony dela Vega with the help of a contractor in exchange for his affidavit of desistance.
I would rather not confirm. Pamangkuton ta anay si Don Felix.
MUCH ADO ABOUT KALINTI
TO appease critics, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has apologized on behalf of the Dinagyang Festival organizers over the alleged immoral words spoken by Bacolod City-based vlogger “Kalinti” during the ceremonial kick-off of the 100-day countdown for Dinagyang 2024 at SM City last Friday, October 20.
“Kalinti by Tbon” is among the content creators tapped by the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) to highlight the Dinagyang countdown in the run-up to the Dinagyang Festival on January 12 to 28, 2024. Its theme is “Pagdayaw kay Señor Santo Niño, Padayaw sang mga Ilonggo.”
“Linti” literally means “lightning” in Hiligaynon but has earned profane connotation, hence, according to critics, is “disrespectful for a religious and cultural event that pays homage to the Santo Niño.”
Honestly, though, I think it’s no match to Tatay Digong’s uncensored “putang ina,” which literally means “whore mother”. However, I have yet to hear a priest object.
(For context, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas released a video on March 5, 2019 casting doubt on President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of the May 13 elections: https://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/224999-archbishop-villegas-hits-duterte-ahead-polls/ – Editor)
The “righteous” ask us to respect the faith of the devotees of Santo Niño.
If truth be told, however, religion should be isolated from a festival meant to also attract people who do not idolize the image of Sto. Niño because they are non-Roman Catholics.
The festival’s name, Dinagyang – “merry making” in English – does not ring a religious bell. It was coined by a non-Catholic, the late broadcaster Pacifico Sumagpao Sudario, a Jejovah’s Witness.
UA&P PREXY LAUDS MORE POWER
AS reported by our friend Alena Mae Flores for the Manila Standard, the president of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), Dr. Winston Padojinog, cited MORE Electric and Power Corp. for its strategic investments and operational improvements on the local economy of Iloilo City from 2020 to 2022.
He told the business summit hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) that MORE Power had contributed P5 billion or almost 4 percent to the economy of the city of Iloilo.
Padojinog lauded the company for substantially reducing the frequency and duration of power interruptions, enhancing the reliability of power supply for businesses and households alike; and for creating 6,693 employments, both directly and indirectly.
“You could see that a reliable utility infrastructure will have reverberating effects on the economy,” he said.
Congrats to MORE Power Pres./CEO Roel Z. Castro.