Poor Bani, Pangasinan Mayor Marcelo Navarro. His multi-million-peso projects from sources abroad, national and local levels could not take-off because of political schisms exacted by his anti-progress dissenting majority-member municipal council whom he said have sworn loyalty and heed order from Congressman Jesus “Boying” Celeste (1st District, Pangasinan) and Governor Amado T. Espino – a classmate at the Philippine Military Academy. By earning the ire of the people I mentioned, everything stops revolving in this second class town known for its pristine beaches and underground caves.
But Navarro, a former police general, did not take the stunts of those tyrannical majorities in the august body sitting down.
Just like the counter-attacked by the US Marines in the bloody November 2004 “Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq, Navarro initiated a Recall Petition where 25% of the town’s registered voters would sign a petition and submit it to the local Commission on Election against the Vice Mayor and his willing conspirators at the Sangguniang Bayan, which stalls whatever pro-progress programs, for a special election for the Bani people decide if these negligent abusive dads deserve another term.
“I leave to the people of Bani the fate of these officials, “he told us media men in a press conference called by the Patrima media group.
“Why not sue them criminally with non-feasance (failure to perform an act) so your people would know their inaction,” I posed.
“I will not because court case drags for a while, unlike recall,” he told me.
“They (councilors) are not doing anything. Somebody is dictating to them,” he continued.
Because of this dissent his municipality was denied with P20 million in housing project that needs local counterpart fund. He deplored that probable employment and other multiplier effects for his people were prejudiced.
He said they snagged the P6 billion bio-fuel project that should be financed through a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP), P8.5 worth power plant, and others.
But one of my colleagues was too insistent. She pursued Navarro, a lanky mestizo skinned soft-spoken person one could mistake as an evangelist, how the rift with the governor start.
He said it started in the campaign period of the 2010 poll when he sought re-election for his mayoralty post (Navarro’s father and his brother used to be a hizzoner of Bani).