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>Virginia Palanca-Santiago (23)


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By Pet Melliza/ The Beekeeper
Since he assumed office last July as chief executive of Igbaras, Iloilo, mayor Vicente Escorpion’s biggest achievement is to dispose of a stockpile of  scraps in the name of cleanliness and beautification.
The scraps, heaps of used construction materials from the demolished old market of the town, could have fetched above P2 million but they just disappeared into thin air because somebody from the administration of Mayor Escorpion, if not himself, pocketed the proceeds.
The used galvanized sheets could still make sturdy roofing matetials. The un-sawn tree trunks that used to be beams of the old market, were priceless old wood that remained unscathed by the elements, much less by termites, in more than 50 years that the old market served the municipality. So were the lumber flitches that served as diagonal beams.
The heaps of scraps could well earn the town above P2 million when sold to junkyards but they went to somebody else’s pockets.
Two million pesos is two million pesos which could have been enough to buy two units of second hand but serviceable dump trucks for use by the municipality.
Two million pesos is two million pesos which could have erected 10 day descent day care centers at P500,000 each.
***
Ironically, Escorpion is a pillar of the graft watchers’ club whose patroness, Virginia Palanca-Santiago seldom sets her shadow in Western Visayas, Iloilo particularly, after yours truly began hitting her.
Virginia Palanca-Santiago holds the concurrent positions as assistant ombudsman for the Visayas and director of its Western Visayas office based in Iloilo City.
She is the heroine of this series, and this is the 23rd already, that I unmasked her as a moral pygmy whose sense of right and wrong is as revolting as her looks.
I have been writing throughout that she must not be allowed to slip silently into retirement but must be investigated for corruption.
Escorpion, the self-billed graft buster is surrounded by, like him, self-proclaimed graft busters led by a perpetual bar flunker and a cleric whose looks reminds us of out affinity with primates.
None of them, Escorpion included, ever investigated how much was lost to the municipality with the disappearance of the scraps.
None of them dared investigate who sold the junks and to whom.
***
The column I earlier wrote on the thievery of the P2-million worth of used construction materials in Igbaras two months after Escorpion was sworn into office, incidentally, riled our graft-watch boys. Instead of taking it as a cue and thank me for the lead, they ran berserk and used the opinion piece against yours truly.
They filed an undefined administrative complaint against me and used as “evidence” the columns yours truly wrote in the web and local papers.
They used the same columns to hail me before the Supreme Court for disciplinary action last year. Their complaint was dismissed.
Both the dismissed complaint and the newly filed one are a hodgepodge of sloppy writing, loose legal conclusions sewn together  in one piece, typical of a mind duped by the fume wiggling up from one end of the tooter.
If given their way, our graft busting boys insist that anybody critizing them should be held criminally, administratively and civilly liable. Their convoluted reasoning insists that those criticizing their patroness Virginia Palanca-Santiago commit a mortal sin, therefore, liable to eternal damnation in hell.
Yours truly have written extensively on Virginia Palanca-Santiago and her co-confederate, a municipal judge, who had her karma for their act of rigging an investigation and subsequently, decision convicting Mayor Jaime Esmeralda, et al, administratively in a case filed by the graftwatch boys. She suffered a mild stroke at the very time she needed cash to support her husband bedridden by stroke after he discovered her adulterous relation with another municipal judge. Karma indeed works!


The fight for justice continues. The motion for reconsideration and petition on certiorari filed by the victims of Virginia Palanca-Santiago and her ilk in the so-called graft busting  club are still pending. Yours truly stood as counsel for one of their victims. That act of mine, from the convoluted argument of our graft busting boys, is another ground of the administrative complaint filed our graft-busting friends.

To them, a government lawyer defending persons charged by the graft busting club are liable for conflict of interest or unethical legal practice.

Indeed, whom the gods wish to destroy, they drug or dupe them first.
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