Seares: Soc Fernandez survives road mishap, perhaps not perpetual disqualification. Mabatid tears at Yap.

Ex-mayor in SRP accident

FORMER Talisay City mayor Soc Fernandez, riding a motorcycle, was almost run over ("diriyot maligsi") by a tanker at the South Road Properties highway Friday, September 3.

Fernandez, about 79, fell from his bike but quickly picked himself up, apparently with no visible injury. Comments ranged from incredulous ("Wow. He is really watched by God's angels") to ridiculous ("Does his son Joavan have anything to do with it?") to plain curious ("Can he run in the next election?").

Soc, a staunch Catholic defender and multiple-term public official, was suspended in December 2015 by the Sandiganbayan for three months as city councilor when in 2010 he retrieved a bag from his car, which was linked to a crime involving his son Joavan. In 2018, he was suspended again for another three months for conspiring to have his son freed from jail in 2013. After his election as councilor in May 2019, months later, in November 2019, the Sandiganbayan affirmed its earlier decision perpetually disqualifying Fernandez for public office.

Can he run again in 2022? Depends on whether the Supreme Court will have decided his appeal on or before next May and whether voters will still elect him at the risk of his losing the seat afterwards.

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Councilor pounces on TV star

Television actor Richard Yap is questioned by Cebu City Councilor Niña Mabatid for giving away rice and "lugaw" or rice broth to would-be voters. Yap allegedly uses government resources for what she calls his "personal political campaign."

Yap plans to run for the House seat in Cebu City north in the next election. He lost as Barug candidate in 2019 to Representative Raul Del Mar and wants to run again, this time against the late congressman's daughter, Rachel "Cutie" del Mar, herself a former congresswoman of the district. Yap though contends with Councilor Mabatid who has been campaigning for the same slot since she assumed her Sanggunian seat.

That's why Niña is fuming mad, which won't be good for Richard's heart. (One Richard Yap teleserye is titled "Be Careful with my Heart."). She tells Yap to explain ("ayaw i-show biz ang Cebu nga i-apil mi nimo sa imong drama"). Maybe she can get faster answer from the accountable officials who allowed Richard to have his hands on the giveaways.

USE OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS. Mabatid is furious not because Yap is also campaigning, which she has been vigorously doing, but because he allegedly uses government funds for it.

Niña claims she uses her own money. Obviously, not totally.

She used to noisily complain about not having been given her share of the millions of pesos worth of rice, canned goods, and medical supplies. For some time, she alleged that an "Ungo sa City Hall" was calling the shots and engaging in corruption while she was being shut out from the "action," meaning the use of government dole-outs to gain awareness and acceptance among the voters. Then she suddenly kept quiet after Barug leaders reportedly "fixed" the problem. They must have given her the share she was "entitled to" as member of the majority party.

“COOKED BY OWN LARD.” Councilor, wannabe-congresswoman Mabatid thinks that what TV entertainer Yap is doing is wrong. It would've been OK to use government resources for campaigning, Niña said, if he were a government official. "Who gave Richard Yap the authority?" She compared it to cooking the voters with their own lard: "Gigisa ang mga tawo sa ilang kaugalingong mantika." Wrong cook and wrongful use of cooking material.

That may be convoluted logic to some citizens but, yes, how could Yap, if true, be doling out rice and "lugaw" and the rest of the pandemic giveaways with no appointed or elected office?

But must she still be surprised? The "ungo" she accused of corruption is also neither elected nor appointed to any City Hall office.

"Kamo ra diay nga naa sa gobyerno?"

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