Ganging up filibustering councilors


By Cha Monforte

The outrageous P90-million bond flotation in Nabunturan is starting to come into gears even if the town public has still largely no idea what a bond float is. On Tuesday the stamp pad majority councilors ganged up one of their own who refuses to buy the bond float project. Councilor Alfonso “Jun” Tabas Jr was trying to filibuster two new items relating the bond flotation pushed by Mayor Macario Humol. But tyranny in numbers of the majority councilors sealed the continuing anti-bond float protestations of the minority bloc which included also Councilors Raul Caballero and Editha Arangcon.

The P40 million borrowing, so unspecified, was the major item of the P42 million subjected to the second supplemental budget ordinance which was approved by the majority on that day. I guess the ordinance was right away signed by the mayor. But the same in our previous essays, they could not party yet. The ordinance which still needs to be confirmed by the provincial board will surely pass the scrutiny of the anti-bond float Boardmembers the known Three Mosquiteers or LBC- Dexter Lopoz, Neri Barte and Armando Codilla, and the latest entrant BM Dr. Ruben Flores, the ex-mayor who sensed three weeks ago during the Comval SP voting that the bond float is bad for the health of the town he once served for one term.

Now what is this P40 million borrowing that the mayor had certified as urgent and was approved in a rush by his stamp pad majority and Vice Mayor Romeo Clarin who ganged up and cut short a filibustering Tabas last Tuesday?

Because the P40 million has no specific source like the Land Bank of the Philippines and because a bond float-related resolution was also passed on that gloomy day which lifted the confidentiality of the LBP accounts of the municipal government for the Central Bank and Department of Finance to pry on it, my best guess is the P40 million borrowing is a standby credit that the munisipyo will borrow from the waiting cabal of sharks- so to speak- composed of the financial advisor, the Preferred Ventures Corp, the unknown underwriters, the unknown brokers (ahentes) and the unknown guarantors. Humol and Clarin et al are not shifting to bank borrowing from a bond float funding alternative as they are already drenched in the rain..

There we see that from the budget nomenclature alone, the bond flotation is a borrowing after all, plain and simple, contrary what the bond float pushers have been saying all along to Nabunturan public that it is not borrowing but fund sourcing from bond buyers and investors. These are the first-level buyers, whom I can see to be non-takers considering the economic crunch and the lack of understanding of the general public on what a bond float is in the first place.

We see it now this early that Humol and Clarin et al have already prepared the ground to borrow from the conspiring cabal, even as they have not floated the bonds yet for the first-level non-takers. This conspiring cabal is the second-level bond buyers or investors who would underwrite or buy the bonds in bulk after the first-level individual buyer fail as expected in a short month’s time.

As the conspiring cabal will expectedly be saving the faces of the bond float pushers for the zero or lack of individual bond buyers or investors, like what had happened even to the bond float for the internationally famed Boracay Island, expectedly, too, the cabal will be bringing the cards close on their chests, and these are the high interest rates (P19.8 million for the first and second repayment years alone).and the hidden charges and fees of the borrowing-underwriting besides that they could also cash in on from the expensive, exorbitant and unnecessary P2.7 million consultancy fees, yearly recurring underwriter, guarantee and trustee fees of P2.8 million, while a contractor could benefit of the P6.7 million for the architectural and engineering design (or sa drawing pa lang). I fear the P40 million just approved is intended for these, as the LGU’s debt service and borrowing capacity will first be probed by the Central Bank and the Dept. of Finance.

This is getting untolerable already. First they engaged in an ambitious project without conducting intensive information dissemination, then they chose the Preferred Ventures Corp as the financial advisor-consultant without the benefit of a bidding, next they the made a lutong macao public hearing, next they railroaded the public hearing opposition by enacting the bond float ordinance in a rush on the second and final reading, and now they are using their tyranny in numbers to scuttle whatever protestation of the minority bloc. “I voting na para mahuman na ni,” commanded VM Clarin to the stamp pad councilors who ganged up on the noisy Tabas.

But no sooner they could have their comeuppance. Once in Russia, the people have agreed to be treated like idiots, all for the sake of some sort of “Oily Mother Russia Orthodox Neo-Tsarist Neo-Sovok Glory.” I don’t know what that means, but it’s all about hailing a communist glory. But on the other hand it was the great US President Abraham Lincoln who said, “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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