Sunday, June 24, 2012

Smarting Vice Mayor, Shortchanged in Loot?


A vice mayor in a town in Pangasinan yaps and bellyaches about the “anomalous’’ transactions of the mayor he is going to challenge in next year’s mayoralty poll.
“Why is it that checks that run to millions of pesos were released without their corresponding vouchers?” he told me.
When I met the mayor I asked him why the vice mayor continued to assail the X million pesos loan his town contracted with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
“Sa ibang bayan mayor tahimik lang ang vice mayor dahil may share siya na P1 million sa loan (In other town mayor, the vice mayor there just keeps mum after he was given his P1 million share from the loan),” I continued.
The mayor retorted that he could not fathom why the vice mayor still denounces his transaction.
“Binigyan ko naman ng P200 thousand na galing sa loan iyan. Kaya nga na-delay ang P100 thousand sa bawat councilors dahil inuna namin na mabuo iyong P200 thousand niya ( I gave him P200 thousand from the loan. That’s why the P100 thousand intended for each of the councilors has been delayed because we prioritized his P200 thousand),” the mayor told me.
Now I know why the vice mayor goes “ballistic” every session of the council.
He got a pittance of the loot in a transaction that can give 20% to 30% personal share to the mayor from favored private contractors. And I am talking here tens of million of pesos.
In the age of internet where one can read almost anything under the sun, I still fancy surplus and second hand hardbound political books that are sold at Power Books in Nepo Mall in Dagupan City and Robinsons in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
Geez, a lot of scintillating books at P80 apiece that I wonder Pangasensinenses do not patronize the store.
“Kukunti lang kayo sir na bumili ng ganyang klasing libro,” quipped by a sales lady there.
Because of these books my wife now mulls to file legal separation from me. Why? I just used the money she gave me for a sack of rice to buy non-fiction books like Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly by Joseph Amann and Tom Breuer, The Kissenger Transcripts Edited by Willian Burr, War Reporting for Cowards By Cris Ayres ,The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw ,and the Man of the House (The Life and Political Memoires of former House Speaker Tip O’Neill) as told by O’Neill to William Novak the other day.
A while ago I was hooked reading the interesting and amusing life story and political memories of Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, former speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, who looks like a cross of Filipino comedian Panchito and a mafia boss.
Here are the excerpts of the eye popping revelations of Tip I quoted selectively for the appreciation of political bugs out there.
At his first year as congressman in the minority Democrats Party, O’Neill quoted Sam Rayburn who addressed his party: “We’re in the minority, now. But we’re still going to be helpful and constructive. Remember, any jackass can kick over a barn door. It takes a carpenter (Republicans) to build one.”
As sophomore in college in 1934 he has a thrill and a jolt of his life when a neighbor in Boston Missy LeHand, personal secretary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, invited him at the White House .
O’Neill said he was too eager to see Roosevelt because he was like God during his time.
“When I saw the president sitting in a wheelchair, I was so shocked that my chin just about hit my chest. Like most Americans, I had absolutely no idea that Franklin Roosevelt was disabled. Its hard to imagine in this age of television but in those days the president’s handicap was kept secret out of respect for the office.”
During the presidency of the American Great Communicator Ronald Reagan, Tips shared his anecdote with the former Hollywood B actor and former governor of California.
He said for months during the first term of Reagan, he opposed his pro-rich – anti poor programs. He quipped that Ronald Reagan was Herbert Hoover with a smile. That he was a cheerleader for selfishness. That he had no compassion.
“From time to time, Reagan would strike back. He would charge that all the Democrats wanted to do was raise taxes. Or he’d get a little more personal and tell reporters that he liked to keep in shape by jogging three times a day around Tip O’Neill”.
But the hilarious part of the book that made me fell from bed was a cartoon of S. Sidney of San Diego Union Copley News Service.
A very fat O’Neil ascending to his limousine after giving a farewell speech to the members of the House of Representatives that he served for 10 years:
O’Neill: Imagine, all those downturned faces, sobbing as I left…who were they?
Chauffeur (who was standing firm in uniform and holding the handle of the rear car’s door): Cartoonists!
Son of a gun, the rabble rousing and visionary former five-time Speaker Joe de Venecia, who handily eclipsed the 10 years stint of O’Niell with his 15 years streaked as the chief whipped of the rambunctious horse trading tainted August Chamber of the Philippines, would like this book unless he reads it already.
My gesture is to reciprocate his generosity when he gave me his 256 pages hard covered stateside made exhilarating book “Global Filipino” authored by Brett M. Decker. JDV’s stuff can be bought at selective books stores around the world. (You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

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