The SOMA, SOPA renderer

Feb 17-23,2011

By Cha Monforte

State of the Municipality Address (SOMA) and SOPA for the province are being rendered and complied by chief executives these days. Laak Mayor Rey Navarro was an early bird- he had his good length last February 7. Comval Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy did the complying of the local government code provision rendering their yearly report Wednesday last week. Asuncion’s SOMA was postponed for unknown reason. I don’t know, I’m still checking with Mayor Joseph Nilo Parrenas. Sto. Tomas Mayor Max Estela rendered his- last Valentines Day. Carmen Mayor Marcelino Perandos, in my interview Tuesday, said he would have his simple SOMA scheduled yet at the sanggunian session hall only by March (he added at the onset that his LGU has no money for the publication- oh, my gulay! for the publishers and the Carmen public because the SOMA and SOPA should really be published now with the recent DILG directive, or else just post that to conspicuous places to save resources, though it’s a so important document for library archiving). Meantime, there’s yet no signal from the Tahanan when would Governor RDR would render his SOPA- amidst the spinning of the CISA controversy. (Will he address in his SOPA’s intro, to my dear “grandstanding” honorable members of this august body? Just kidding). Most of the mayors in Comval and Davao del Norte though have not yet rendered their SOMAs. Meantime, we’ll wait.

There was that unique Comval SOPA during an early year after the 1998 separation of Comval from mother Davao del Norte when suddenly during an SP session ex-Gov. Joecab Caballero was asked to render his SOPA without him knowing first about it. Cornered, he was forced to render his SOPA impromptu, belaboring to recall what he had accomplished in the previous year and lay the challenges ahead. That time the Comval PG offices were still scaterred in various public offices in poblacion Nabunturan. The Capitol building was still inexistent. The SP held sessions in various places. They were in the poblacion barangay hall when ex-Gov. Joecab rendered his automatic SOPA. While he addressed the non-grandstanding SP members, someone among them, was always inserting his smallest finger getting a peek from his nostril, playing dumb and innocent, seeing and listening blankly to Joecab’s impromptu SOPA about the PG’s accomplishments despite the absence of the Capitol and the birthpains of the newly created province. The picking of the peek by the one BM playing dumb was said to be intentional to irritate the SOPA renderer. But its was maybe the first unwritten SOPA in the country, someone told me about that unique Comval SOPA.
Ma’am Estelita, wife of Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr had been in intensive care unit in the Davao Regional Hospital for almost 7 months for her lingering Parkinson’s disease that complicated into multiple cirrhosis. For over 6 years now she’s been struggling against the Parkinson’s disease and for those long years the vice governor has been caring for her dear Esteling, becoming her roommate, visiting her at the DRH daily every early morning, constantly praying for her to survive the onslaughts of the disease. With much of his salary stashed and going to respond to the asks for help of his constituents, the vice governor had to sell his millions-worth of real property in Tagum City to sustain the costly hospitalization of her dear Esteling no matter what. Recently, the vice governor transferred Ma’am Esteling from the DRH’s ICU room to their residence under similar medical but homely care with two nurses taking shifts to care and watch on her. On the day his dear Esteling was transferred to their home, VG Baby gathered his children and their families and his relatives for a welcome-home lunch-gathering. Esteling Pulmano whose family is also one of the pre-war pioneers in Tagum just like the Suaybaguios is VG Baby’s childhood neighbor, kababata in Tagum, and she became his college girlfriend when they were both studying at the University of East (UE) in Manila. Their love blossomed and they walked down the aisle of the old Cathedral in the city in 1964. It’s in sickness or in health, for better and for worse, ‘til death do us part for Ma’am Esteling and VG Baby now since their love to each other began.
Sentence No. 3 in my Jan 20-26/11 column was inadvertently omitted during the layouting rush. The paragraph needs to be corrected here, to give justice to that piece: “There is no debate now as to the noble purposes and objectives the privatization of security services in the Mankilam Capitol. These are all valid. But in good governance, procedures must still be followed. This is an interesting case that must be settled in court at the earliest time while the CISA guards have not yet eaten a budget of the approved annual budget, or as in Cebu case, the COA declared so that Gov. Garcia’s transaction was illegal as it needed prior SP authorization. Nah, basig ma-disallow pa ang makuhang kwarta sa CISA gikan sa Kapitolyo ug makatapada ug dako and Capitol triumvirate apil na si Gov. RDR….”
Next week the Capitol’s COA auditor Susan Querequincia is set to have her audit findings to the controversial CISA contract, per her promise to the local media. Since the vice governor and some unidentified SP members are putting the issue to the lap of the COA to declare whether the CISA transaction is legal or not, there’s the suspense out there in the Mankilam Capitol. There seems to be no middle ground in the COA’s challenge- either it’s yes or no, legal or illegal. If it’s yes, it’s legal, then brave souls might do a Quisumbing in the Cebu case, hailing the governor to the court, to further get what’s really that law ultra-fitting outta here- will the contract first pass the prior SP authorization and approval or not? But chances are, by the putting of the issue to COA’s lap, nobody in the SP could go beyond it? But we’ll just wait as someone might go ballistic. There’s also no Kilosbayan NGO of sort in the province which will take up a cudgel in case the SP loses. Just imagining.


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